Second Amendment rights are not being adequately protected by the federal government, according to a majority of the participants in a recent AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.
According to the survey, a total of just 44 percent of Americans believe the federal government is maintaining the proper course to safeguard Second Amendment rights. That figure is down from 57 percent when AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted the same poll two years ago. Slippage is seen from both Republicans and Democrats.
Only 36 percent of folks who identified themselves as Republicans believe the powers-that-be in Washington, DC were doing a good job protecting gun rights. Two years ago that same demographic gave the government a 51 percent approval rating.
Democrats who responded to the Second Amendment poll gave the Obama administration and Congress a 52 percent approval rating on gun issues, down from 64 percent two years ago.
The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showed that men and women of all races, ages, and geographic locations are unhappy with the federal government’s stance on gun control in the United States. The survey addressed not just how Americans feel about how the federal government is dealing with Second Amendment issues, but gauged approval on all Bill of Rights-related legislation. The most dramatic dip in approval on government handling of Constitutional rights related to the Second Amendment.
The Associated Press interviewed Americans on the issue and got a wide range of opinions.
Mike Kaplon, an accounting and economics student from Morristown, N.J., said more laws would not lessen gun violence.
“There’s always going to be a nut job able to get a gun,” said Kaplon, a Republican-leaning libertarian. “It happens. It’s life.”
Walden Miller, a 57-year-old Democrat from Louisville, Colo., said more gun laws are needed.
“They are protecting the rights quite well,” he said. “I think there should be more control over the availability and licensing of guns — which is the opposite.”
The AP-NORC Center for Public Research poll was conducted via both land lines and cell phones from the University of Chicago. The poll included 1,008 participants from around the country. Questions were posed in both English and Spanish. The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 4 percent.
Few, if any issues, have the same polarizing nature as gun control. The growing division between gun rights supporters and gun control advocates will not likely ebb anytime soon. Approximately the same number of right-to-bear-arms protection bills are currently pending in state legislators as proposals to lessen the rights guaranteed to American citizens by the Constitution.
The Navy Yard shooting once again brought the gun laws issue to the forefront of the nightly news. At least two major cable news agencies mistakenly told the nation that the gunman with apparent mental health issues used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
A 2007 study published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy found that European countries that had higher legal gun ownership rates also had less violent crime.
“Gun ownership spread widely throughout societies consistently correlates with stable or declining murder rates,” the authors wrote. “Whether causative or not, the consistent international pattern is that more guns equal less murder and other violent crime. Even if one is inclined to think that gun availability is an important factor, the available international data cannot be squared with the mantra that more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death. Rather, if firearms availability does matter, the data consistently show that the way it matters is that more guns equal less violent crime.”
Do you think the federal government is doing a good job of protecting Second Amendment rights?