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Rasmussen Reports reports on gun control on a regular basis. Their latest survey informs us that “Support for the current federal system of background checks on gun purchasers remains high.” In fact, 85 percent of likely U.S. voters answered “yes” when asked “Should a strict background check be required for anyone to buy a gun in the United States?” OK, but do they think “universal background checks” would be effective? Rasmussen wondered the same thing. So they also asked the 1000 respondents . . .

Will strict background checks of all potential gun buyers increase violent crime, decrease violent crime or have no impact on violent crime?

The result wasn’t on their website, for some reason. I put in a call to Rasmussen’s Press Room. The nice lady at the end of the ‘phone reported that seven percent of respondents believe universal background checks would increase violent crime (go figure), 45 percent reckon they would decrease violent crime, 42 percent said they’d have no impact, and six percent threw their hands up.

Huh? 85 percent of likely U.S. voters support universal background checks but only 45 percent think they’d reduce violent crime? Can you say lip service? It’s get even curiouser . . .

Rasmussen asked a third question: “If government background checks are implemented, who should be prevented from buying a gun? Should be it just convicted felons and those with serious mental health issues, or should more people be prevented from buying a gun?”

The pollsters report that just 35 percent favor expanding the list of prohibited persons. To include whom? People who might commit crimes, such as accused domestic abusers? Not specified. Here’s the odd bit. Back in September, Rasmussen asked ” Should laws regarding the ownership of guns be the responsibility of the federal government, state governments or local governments?”

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 34% of Likely U.S. Voters believe laws regarding the ownership of guns should be the responsibility of the federal government. That’s down from a high of 38% in December.  Slightly more (36%) believe gun ownership is a state government responsibility, while 18% say local governments should have the final say. Twelve percent (12%) aren’t sure.

So Americans want to expand the list of prohibited persons but roughly half don’t think background checks reduce violent crime and most don’t want the feds to do it. I’m so confused! Answer: people want the government to have less control until they want it to have more. There’s also another factor common to polling that comes into play: people don’t want to admit that they don’t know what the question means.

Let’s end with this: in another poll, 75 percent rated the right to bear arms or somewhat or very important (54%). I asked Rasmussen’s PR flack to submit the following questions to the editorial board: Do you know what the term “universal background checks means?” and “The Second Amendment says ‘the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ Does that prohibit the federal government from passing gun control laws?”

Your thoughts?

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  1. Hell most people I talk to about guns think you already have to register them. Some of these people are gun owners (1 or two gun kind of people) or people who want to be gun owners.

    It’s just the expectation, it’s wrong and unconstitutional (most places) but it’s what people think

    • Growing up in California, I am one of those people that still associates buying a gun with “incredible hassle”. We ALWAYS did ownership transfers for any gun through FFLs just to cover our asses with the leos. No matter what gun you bought it was a two week wait.

      Now I live in North Carolina, and I have to go get permission slips from the sheriffs office. It’s demeaning, and an extra hassle. I would prefer Cali but for the fact that I can at least buy anything class 1 and class 2 without any real trouble, and have a couple dozen standard cap mags for rifles that aren’t legal in Cali.

      As for his assertion that the masses have no idea what they want, that’s not true. They want exactly what they asked for, they want the government to protect them from bad people by denying them guns, and they want to have no trouble buying guns, and they demand that the government magically be able to do both contradictory things. The masses are idiots that never should have been given any political power. Give us anarchy or meritocracy, but dear god please not democracy.

    • Most of the people I talk with also think that all guns are registered. My bosses wife (they were not originally from the) thought that the 4473 was actually a license. I have since cleared that up for her.

  2. sad, between race gender and religious bs the USA is on track to CW and martial law before the 2016 election.


  3. I will defend myself from anyone or anything that tries to “infringe” my right to bear arms by any means necessary, including shooting their stoopid as$.

  4. This is why we need to start firearm training in high school along with drivers ed. Hell just 22s for target and 20 gauges for skeet would be nice.

  5. Might want to check that headline. It states 45% don’t believe why in the article it says 45% does believe.

  6. Maybe a lot of antis just let their masks slip. They know full well all their laws don’t work, they just want the government to have utter control and oppressive power over everyone.

    Or maybe people are just idiots. Wouldn’t be a surprise in this day and age.

  7. Consider that only about 20% of the population really understand the gun laws on the books and what “universal background checks” would actually entail the way they’ve been put forth repeatedly…and this is actually a pretty good number that we just need to work on increasing. Educate people you know, especially when they make offhand comments about how background checks are “needed” – point out the ludicrous laws the left wants to pass that would make handing a firearm to a relative a felony. Education is our greatest weapon, since the other side relies on lies and ignorance.

  8. 85% want background checks, 45% think background checks are useless against crime.

    So 40% want background checks for no reason other than to impede gun ownership?

  9. Looks like, between the 42% who think it would have no impact and the 7% who think it would increase violent crime (???), some 49% believe that UBC would not reduce crime. Or at least so state to the pollsters.

    • Then add the 6percent who “threw up their hands” and you have a solid majority. For more fun, see where gun control ranks in importance compared to other election issues, somewhere between “huh?” and “meh…”

  10. This is just more proof that most people do in fact vote against their self-interest, either from ignorance or willful self-delusion.

  11. Even accepting the context of a social utility test for rights constitutionally protected against all infringement, why do public opinion polls matter? We have decades of empirical evidence that background checks of any kind are utterly ineffective.

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