Friday, December 01, 2023

Polls Reflect Majority Acceptance of Second Amendment and Gun Ownership

Armed woman in desert near Yuma

Recent polls have shown a significant increase in the percentage of gun owners, amount of gun ownership, and acceptance of the utility of firearms for self defense. Some of the increase comes from record and sustained high levels of firearms sales. Some of the higher numbers are from gun owners who are "coming out of the closet".  They are examples of a changed attitude and increased acceptance of admitting of firearms ownership in public. 

In the United States, gun ownership is the most widespread of any country on the earth. Guns owned in the United States are seldom registered. The few states with laws requiring registration have large populations of resistors who refuse to comply with new registration requirements. Registration requirements are a recent phenomena. For these reasons, the number of guns in the United States and the number of gun owners are impossible to know with precision. A reasonable estimate of the total number of privately owned guns is about a half a billion,  1 and 1/2 guns for every person in the United States, nearly two guns for every adult in the United States.

There are plenty of guns in the United States for every adult to have at least one. The question of how many adults own guns, and how many adults have easy access to guns, is not the same. A gun in a household is likely to be accessible to all adults in the household. Because of the nature of surveys, a common question is: Do any of the members of your household own a gun?

A recent NBC poll shows a dramatic increase in gun ownership in the last decade. The poll was of American voters. The numbers are of direct political significance. According to NBC, the number of voters who would admit someone owned a gun in their household increased a whopping 24% in the last decade, from 42% to 52% of the adult population (10% of the adult population is 24% of the original 42%). Much of this increase may result because more people are willing to admit they own a firearm. The poll in 2013 was taken in February, when the propaganda push against gun ownership was at a fever pitch, less than two months after the Sandy Hook mass murder. In contrast, the 2023 poll was taken a month after the Hamas raid/massacre into Israel, where 1400 mostly unarmed Israelis were killed.

In the debate about public disarmament, one of the major issues is whether widespread ownership of firearms increases or decreases public safety.  As with many issues, where a person stands on the issue is intertwined with their personal interests and actions. People who own guns are much more likely to favor the general ownership of guns than people who do not. People who own guns are much more likely to believe the general ownership of guns improves public safety.  The more people know about guns, the more likely they are to own them and approve of their ownership.

A poll done in late November of 2023 shows 63% of voters consider a firearm necessary for self defense.  The question asked was:

 Do you think you need to have a gun today in case you are attacked by criminals, or do you think owning a gun is unnecessary? 

Public acceptance of the utility of gun ownership is boosted, in part, because of increasing respect shown for the Second Amendment by the Supreme Court and inferior courts.  Opinions which many people were hesitant  to voice publicly have been validated by the Heller, McDonald, Caetano, and Bruen decisions. Inferior courts around the country are starting to enforce those decision, albeit reluctantly in deep blue states.  A recent Marquette University poll shows 2/3 of the respondents are in favor of the Bruen decision, the most explicit and far reaching of the Courts decisions on the scope and reach of the Second Amendment thus far. The number compares favorably with the 63% who believe owning a gun is necessary for defense against criminals. The question about the Bruen decision was: 

Question: In 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that, subject to some restrictions, the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home. How much do you favor or oppose this decision?

A Study done in 2023, exploring the numbers of people who may not be willing to publicly admit they own guns indicated the number of gun owners could be as high as 64% of adults. This number correlates well with those who think a gun is necessary for defense against criminals, and those who favor the Supreme Court Bruen decision. 

If about 2/3 of adults in the United States own guns, politicians who openly oppose gun ownership are unlikely to find it a winning proposition.  Most politicians who oppose gun ownership will claim they would never inconvenience "legitimate" gun owners. Politicians tend to be very good liars.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


1 comment:

StraightShootr said...

Broom handle Mauser?

That could be some $$$ there...