In states with secure gun rights, owners tend to be non-political and dedicated to recreation and self-defense, the study found. But restrictive laws prompt people to become resistant and to view their firearms as hedges against the state.
“The result is a few million people who are convinced that any genuine firearm violence prevention effort is the first step in a scheme to take away all of their rights and disenfranchise them,” groused Claire Boine, one of the BU researchers.
We saw the results just a few years ago in terms of massive noncompliance with “assault weapon” registration laws in Connecticut and New York. “Empire State gun owners are largely ignoring one of the signature elements of the watershed legislation,” the New York Daily News observed in 2015.
At the national level, if Biden blows the dust off the various proposals for bans, registration requirements, and other restrictions advocated by his party, he’s going to infuriate a great many Americans who view firearms as protection against threats to their liberty. That’s not new of course—prohibitions have always provoked anger and resistance. This time, however, many of the alienated gun owners scoffing at the law would be voters on whom the new president and his allies rely.
Government fell on its face in 2020 and left many Americans to arm themselves for self-protection amidst political turmoil and failing institutions. With a record number of guns in the hands of an increasingly diverse cross-section of the population, gun control just isn’t a serious policy proposal.
— J.D. Tuccille in Record Gun Sales and Diverse Ownership Mean Rocky Prospects for Restrictions