If polls are to be trusted any longer, there’s one out from Gallup that shows gun control zealots aren’t paying attention to America’s growing distaste for gun control.
Americans want less gun control laws now than they did in 2016, when Hillary Clinton campaigned and lost on a platform of enacting bans on modern sporting rifles and clamping down on Second Amendment rights. American support for stricter gun control laws slipped seven percent in just one year while firearm sales are breaking records and rioting and looting is wreaking havoc in American cities as gun control politicians called for, and actually did, defund the police. Forty three percent of Americans want less gun control laws or for them to remain the same, according to the poll.
Campaigning on an even more radical gun control agenda than Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden wants to confiscate lawfully owned firearms and force states to adopt gun licensing and registration schemes to exercise God-given rights. Congressional election results showed Americans rejected this notion, with pro-gun rights GOP candidates gaining seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and already holding 50 seats in the U.S. Senate, with both Georgia races headed to runoff elections where the pro-gun candidates are favored to win.
This was a year a blue wave was supposed to usher in a landslide of gun control candidates, if pre-election polling was to be believed. The election post-mortem, however, is showing gun control elites a completely different picture. Gun rights candidates overperformed.
Americans are telling Congress and activist billionaires like Michael Bloomberg to leave their guns – and gun rights – alone. Bloomberg, financier of the gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, spent over $1 billion on his own failed presidential race, and helped fund Biden’s campaign in Florida, Ohio and Texas, states Biden lost handily.
Gallup’s tracking of public opinion spans 40 years, with 2011 being the low point for increased gun control, with just 43 percent of those polled in support. The findings also show a double-digit drop for wanting stricter gun control that peaked after the tragic murders in Parkland, Fla.
Digging deeper into the data shows several more findings. Support to a total ban on handguns is at historic lows. Democrats are more likely to support gun control than Republicans, which might contribute to the overconfidence in a “blue wave” that never materialized in Congressional elections.
Gun Owners Represented?
Gallup data showed 32 percent of Americans own firearms, a figure that’s suspiciously low. This year is a record-setting year for firearm sales, with more than 17.2 million background checks for the sale of a firearm. Nearly 7 million of those are estimated to be first-time buyers, a figure Gallup dismissed as insignificant and within the margin of error. This was proven by Everytown’s campaign ads against U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) who won re-election didn’t even mention guns. That’s called a “tell.”
However, this was the same polling organization that said America favored one-party rule just one month before election. Election results showed differently. Democrats lost seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, when they were predicted to gain, and Republicans are very likely to hold the majority in the U.S. Senate after the Georgia runoff elections.
The pollsters got it wrong then, and they’re getting it wrong now. NSSF estimates there are more than 434 million firearms in civilian possession today – the highest number ever – and many firearm owners own multiple firearms. Firearm production figures and background checks are on a continual and steady climb upward, yet these polls try to tell America that gun ownership remains flat. Well, that’s just flat-out wrong.
What is more likely the case is many gun owners are distrustful of pollsters and self-select out of these surveys, meaning pollsters are over-sampling non gun owners. It’s hardly inconceivable that a firearm owner wouldn’t want to reveal their private firearm ownership information for concerns of theft or being targeted for political retribution and confiscation, as has been threatened by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Polling completely missed the 2016 election with President Donald Trump’s victory and blew it again this year by anyone’s account on Congressional predictions. It’s would be easy to dismiss the findings out of hand, but it’s worth noting that the polls that downplay firearm ownership in America is admitting, “Americans’ appetite for gun control is the lowest it has been since 2016.”
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.