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President Clinton enacted the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) in 1994. [For an overview of the AWB concept click here.] Since its expiration, the Democratic Party has been hell bent on reenacting and strengthening an “assault weapons” ban. While that may have been a winning argument back in the early 1990’s, a new poll by Gallup shows that support for outlawing scary black rifles has done nothing but decline over the last decade and a half.

Released yesterday, the latest Gallup poll shows that not only is there now far more opposition to the concept of an “assault weapons” ban among the American public in general, support for the idea has now fallen below 50 percent even among Democrats.


While Gallup voices some consternation at the continued decline in the AWB’s popularity — despite continued high profile “mass shootings — the pollsters don’t speculate what’s behind this striking sea change. I have a few ideas.

When the original AWB was enacted in 1994, the AR-15 was still something of a novelty. The “this isn’t your grandpa’s bolt gun” platform hadn’t yet been recognized as an ideal choice for hunting, plinking or self-defense, wonderfully adaptable for shooters of any size, shape or age.

The civilian disarmament complex preyed upon public ignorance to convince voters that this scary-looking “military style” black rifle was inherently dangerous. They coined the name — “assault rifle” — to propagate their propaganda.

Over the last twenty years, AR-15 platform sales have exploded. Over the last decade the AR-15 has become the most popular rifle in the United States. It’s often the choice of new shooters looking to buy their first firearm, as well as experienced shooters looking for a versatile platform. From competition shooting to varmint control to hunting, the AR-15 has become the go-to rifle platform for tens of millions of American gun owners.

With the AR’s ascendancy, the public has gradually changed its view on the advisability of an “assault weapons” ban. No longer seeing the AR as a “weapon of war” and frightening object that can be prohibited without any undue harm to the American gun owner, more people now view the rifle as commonplace and — for many — nearly essential.

As firearm designs improve and and the AR ownership continues to spread among the gun-owning population, it’s likely that this trend will only continue. The only question is whether politicians will pay any attention.

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  1. “The only question is whether politicians will pay any attention.”

    Prog: We must have a new and double plus good conversation!

    Me: We’ve been having this “conversation” for decades and you seem to be losing.

    Prog: LA LA LA LA LA! I can’t hear you! Why won’t you have a rational conversation with me!?

  2. Luckily rights are not subject to popular opinion or vote…..unfortunately the public has been so effectively dumbed down very few understand this anymore.

    • They might have been dumbed down about a lot of things, but the charts *literally show* that support for an AWB is at its lowest point ever, even among Democrats. I daresay while the DNC might be a strong advocate of pushing the renewal of the AWB, many of the rank-and-file population who self-identify as democrats aren’t necessarily on board with violating the Second. Or, they don’t care about guns enough that they feel the DNC should be pursuing it.

    • States and local communities have been challenging that point for some time now. That is why they harp on how a majority of people want “reasonable” gun control whether or not it restricts the exercise of Second Amendment rights, and is further reflected in some courts (most recently the Seventh) declaring that “public safety” trumps 2A rights, even if the law (in that case the Highland Park AR ban) only makes people “feel” safer. That is mob rule in its very essence.

      • Yep. TPTB having been using the collectivist mantra of public safety, greater good, ect., to attack individual liberties across the board. With the mainstream media churning out sophisticated propaganda 24/7 supporting this agenda, the average American is too tired, too busy, too stressed, and too stupid to understand what is happening.

  3. This poll won’t be any deterrent to the enactment of a new AWB if the Democrats win the presidency and gain control of congress. Remember, they shoved Obamacare down out throats even though a majority of Americans opposed it. Sadly, we no longer have a government by the people and for the people. It now exists for the benefit of the politicians and the wealthy donors and lobbyists who bribe them.

    • “Remember, they shoved Obamacare down out throats even though a majority of Americans opposed it. “

      Even worse than that.

      They shoved Obamacare down our throats even though they didn’t even read it.

      They ignored the people that DID read it in order to pass it.

      Things that make you go “Hmmmm.”

      • The problem was that the libs knew [most of] what was in the bill they just didn’t want to talk about it because then they’d have had to admit to knowing what they were doing.

        The WSJ reported last week that it’s now been determined that there’s a provision buried in the ACA that gives the POTUS the power to unilaterally move the country to “single payer” if and when it’s determined by said POTUS that the ACA is not working as designed/not having the desired effects.

        So they basically designed a law they knew would blow up in our collective faces and buried a provision in it to go full blown socialist when the law does what it’s obviously designed to do. This isn’t an accident.

        Progs may be crazy but they ain’t stupid.

        • “gives the POTUS the power to unilaterally move the country to “single payer”

          I dunno about that, but I know there is no secret code which *FUNDS* Obamacare under those circumstances, if the GOP controls the House *or* the Senate, Doofus better be planning on paying the bills himself if he enacts that. Probably not much more than a trillion bucks, I’m sure the Clintons will help.

        • Larry, have you not been paying attention to the GOP in the House and Senate for, oh, the last 40 years or so?

          They won’t do diddly squat but go along. Too many cucks among them.

        • Larry:

          You’re not understanding here. The law has a provision in it that says that if it the POTUS thinks it’s not working (it wasn’t designed to) then he can unilaterally move us to “single payer”. That’s the law as written. No need for any Congressional approval or anything else.

          Everything is already set up for that move by the law, which is the law of the land. The POTUS only need exercise the authority granted to him/her under the law and it’s a done deal. It would take an act of Congress to reverse it but at this point, short of repeal or modification of the law (which Obama would veto and the Senate wouldn’t override) the POTUS has the statutory authority to do this because that’s what the law grants.

          It’s all part of that “We have to pass the law so you can find out what’s in it”‘ thing.

    • “Sadly, we no longer have a government by the people and for the people.”

      I wonder if we ever did, even all the way back to the Founding.

      • No, not really.

        Back then they had a lot more fish to fry than now which is why it took them long enough to get to the point where they intrude into our lives at every opportunity.

  4. If even half of the people polled had any clue about firearms these numbers would fall significantly. The majority of our population is completely clueless about the true intricacies of public policy on virtually all subjects, much less firearms. Polls mean nothing. They can be manipulated to obtain any desired result. So many people that I talk to actually believe anyone can buy a gun at a gun show without a background check; you know – the gun show loophole. Why you ask? Because messaging, and the liberal left leaning MSM is pumping the country full of their lies and propaganda. It is our citizens’ willful and shameful ignorance that leads to lying liberals gaining power and destroying all that we hold dear.

    • “… the liberal left leaning MSM …”

      Our mainstream media is WAYYYYYY beyond “left leaning” … they are full-on propagandists.

    • “and the liberal left leaning MSM”

      They leaned, fell over and kept rolling left.

      /gets binocs

      Yep, still rolling.

      They just keep yelling ‘unbiased’ each time they flip over

  5. More important than politicians paying attention to it is how much of that disapproval could translate into action vs how much will translate into indifference. Politicians can and do do whatever they please. Polls mean nothing when the majority reaction is a cold meh.

    Either the political class doesn’t get it or doesn’t want to get it. Nothing short of heads on pikes is going to change that anytime soon though a president Trump would be a really nice middle finger aimed at all the Dems and Reps burning through cash to stop him.

    If you can’t stop the slow march to cronyist totalitarianism at least you can eat s’mores by the glowing smoldering ruins of it all.

  6. In my opinion, Clinton will win and unless there is a huge gain by the GOP in the House and Senate she will succeed in banning so called assault rifles and mags over 10. It’s all about how bad the ban will be. She will probably and initially try to ban all semi-automatics and then settle on rifles only.

      • Bingo. Mass noncompliance will only be the start. We will not tolerate wholesale tyranny.

        “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, ” -U.S. Constitution (the Supreme law of this country).

        • Estimates of non compliance with the NY SAFE Act are above 90%. That equates to about 1.1 million newly minted felons (i.e. law abiding patriots). If NYers are any indication of how the rest of the country feels about unjust laws, we really are on a path to destruction if she gets elected.

    • The president doesn’t have the power to ban weapons, Congress has to pass a bill and the President can sign it or veto it or do nothing. The President does not make the laws and executive orders are limited in scope.

      • “executive orders are limited in scope”

        Tell that to George W. Bush’s 1989 executive order that banned a whole class of rifles from being imported unless they were modified heavily stateside.

        Tell that to Clinton’s numerous orders which did more bans on imports.

        Tell that to Bush the 2nd’s who banned frickin’ barrels.

        Not but not least Obama’s numerous bans on imports.

        Maybe they are limited to you because they don’t affect your guns but to people like it was me it was not limited at all but devastating!!

      • No branch of our government may ban any bearable arms. All gun control laws are unconstitutional, period. There is no such thing as “reasonable restrictions”. No other enumerated right has any laws which restrict the free exercise thereof.

  7. And. . . with the appropriate hold-over, you can counteract the remaining 36% that did not “drop”. Or “drop” the remaining 36%???

    /sarc if ya need it.

  8. Anyone notice what happened to the number of people who favored a ban on AR and AK platform rifles in 2012, the year of the Sandy Hook School attack?

    Democrats: support for a ban increased
    Independents: support for a ban decreased
    Republicans: support for a ban did not change

    It should be no surprise that Democrats, who operate on altruism, fantasy, and emotion, would respond emotionally and increase support for a ban on AR and AK platform rifles following the Sandy Hook School attack.

    The response from Independents and Republicans seems about right.

  9. Well, let’s hope:
    (1) That poll accurately represents the policy position of We the People.
    (2) We the People will vote that policy position.
    (3) Democrats drive that train into the ground and lose big at the polls.

    • Hope has nothing to do with it. All gun laws restricting the keeping and bearing of arms are unconstitutional, period. There is no such thing as “reasonable restrictions”. Firearm laws are the only laws which restrict a constitutionally protected right. No other right is restricted in any way. Your hope says that you already accept unconstitutional laws and therefor are likely to accept more.

  10. I think it is undeniable that the typical progressive Democratic voter sees itself as a likely victim, while Republican and especially Independent or Libertarian voters see themselves as actors capable of personally affecting outcomes. So of course the prog wants to ban everything that scares it. Do you view yourself as a sheep or, if not a sheepdog, at least as an elk or a mountain goat with horns and a capability to use them? The progs do seem to view themselves as sheep, right down to pushing the most vulnerable out to the edge of the flock as wolf fodder, i.e. making sure that working poor people stuck in slums remain disarmed. The prog would say this is just male talk, denying the natural reality of the female lion, the mama bear, or our highly protective and somewhat aggressive part pit female dog.

    • AR’s are anemic. SKS’s are easy to clean, ifn you really wanted to, because, well, they run better dirty so why would you need to. No way a .512″ gas tube is ever going to clog. Just an opinion…

    • Takes about 5 minutes to clean an AR, a couple more it it’s suppressed. What kinda PITA is that?

  11. Has anybody seen the latest statistics from the ATF or the FBI on the use of Assault Weapons in the commission of a crime?


    That’s because the ATF does not define or distinguish Assault Weapons from rifles. And that’s because there is no practical difference. And that’s because an Assault Weapon is just a bullshit, made-up thing.

    • So much the better. Once we get them outlawed, we can define them as whatever we want to get rid of this week. Maybe Ford SUVs will be “assault weapons”!

  12. This poll has meaning only in the context of the election. If HRC wins and the Democrats make significant gains in the house and Senate they’ll ignore the popular sentiment and drop the ban hammer on lots of things. Heck HRC, might not even need Congress.

    Personally, I see losing Congress as a long shot but HRC and DJT are in a pretty close race.

  13. Gentle PotG: Let’s get our terminology straight! “They coined the name — “assault rifle” — to propagate their propaganda.” The Progs didn’t “coin” “assault rifle”; the DoD did. And, “assault rifle” means something. The author of this post (who seems to know what he is talking about) can’t manage to edit his text to use “assault weapon” in precisely the place in his text that it most certainly should be correctly stated.
    There is no point in our ridiculing the mis-use of “clip” and “the thing that goes up” if we ourselves can’t manage to use our own terminology correctly.

  14. This poll suggests that, at least with respect to the AWB, we have the Progs on the run. After hammering away year after year we have succeeded in persuading “the People” that the AWB is foolishness.
    That won’t translate into the corresponding decision in Congress or the State legislatures. Legislators will vote Prog in lock-step.
    The significance is more subtle. The People will begin to count the number of contentious laws where legislators voted against the will of the People (as expressed in the polls). As they continue voting against the People, the voters will begin to react. They might not figure-out that they must stop voting for the incumbents; but, they will increasingly rebel against their governments.

  15. You could basically break that graph into three regions:

    Pre-2000 : “Tried it”.

    2000-2012: “Realized it was stupid. ”

    Post-2012: “Over it.”

  16. Yeah, well while driving around today I saw 20 Trump-Pence signs to 1 Hilary and 1 Bernie sign.

    After all is said and done, it doesn’t matter what the People think, it matters what the corrupt politicians, Globalists, and New World Order want.

  17. They coined the name — “assault rifle” —

    I think you mean “assault weapon”. An “assault rifle” is a real thing with an actual definition.

  18. I have to credit a lot of this to the web. The combined efforts of alternative media pundits like Farago and a legion of determined comment section posters on the mainstream news websites have provided the lower-information public with a consistent counterweight to the anti-gun message pushed by the MSM. There is no longer a monopoly on the narrative. So to everybody here that has ever taken a deep breath, swallowed the urge to simply rant or demean other commenters on some liberal news website, and instead posted a civil, factual, and compelling counter-argument to an anti-gun article or post, you guys should pat yourselves on the back.

    But don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.

  19. Gun control like obamacare for guns, it sounds good in their idealistic, socialistsic, ignorant minds, but any reasonable person can see through the sugar coating of a turd.

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