Analysis: Gun Ownership Poll Results Shift in Favor of Protection

More than half of American women now say owning a gun protects people from becoming victims of crime, according to Pew. Here, a woman carries a rifle at a gun rights rally at the Utah State Capitol last year.

More than half of American women now say owning a gun protects people from becoming victims of crime, according to Pew. Here, a woman carries a rifle at a gun rights rally at the Utah State Capitol last year.

The article below with original text in Italics appeared online in NPR.org on December 10, 2014 (this link takes you to the original article.)

Editors analysis: It is interesting that despite an unrelenting pressure to demonize gun ownership by the media since the Sandy Hook School shooting over two years ago public opinion moved even further in favor of gun ownership.  There are several plausible explanations for this shift in opinion.  One of the major drivers may be the growing cynicism towards the trustworthiness of the Democrat led Senate and Presidency of Barack Obama.  As a result of a growing string of scandals (to name just a few: Fast and Furious, Benghazi, The IRS Lois Lerner Investigation,  and recently, the outright lies and misinformation which were knowingly fed to the public regarding the Obama-care health legislation, trust in government is declining.  The revelations of Professor Jonathan Gruber and the ringing echoes of our president’s repeated lies: “you can keep your doctor and your health-care plan if you like it,” have provoked a growing cynicism towards the democrat leadership and of government in general.)

Add to that incomplete list of scandals the President’s most recent unconstitutional executive action to halt deportations of illegal aliens, and his lukewarm efforts to support law enforcement and tamp down racial unrest after angry mobs went on the rampage in Ferguson, Missouri and you have grounds for public confidence in government sinking to an all time low.  It’s becoming increasingly apparent to the public that the rule of law in our society has been dangerously weakened by the actions of our Chief Executive and his Democratic left leaning supporters.  Facing the likelihood of further erosion in the trust citizens have in government, the public realizes that gun ownership is one of the few things they can do to protect themselves in an uncivilized society where the law seems to be administered by the whim of the ruling class.

Inexplicably, this opinion poll demonstrates that the public, despite the many vocal antigun voices in the media, gets it.  States with the most stringent gun control measures are often run by Democrats, and have the most murders and worst rates of violent crime.  On the other hand, states with liberal concealed carry laws and high rates of gun ownership have seen violent crime and murder drop, year after year.   Government, as recently demonstrated in Ferguson Missouri, led by a Democrat Governor, was given weeks to prepare for violent demonstrations, yet when the time of crisis arrived, the police stood by and allowed savage mobs to rampage and destroy private property without intervening.

Even the average citizen is smart enough to figure out that owning a firearm is the last defense against barbarism when governments fail to deliver on its essential duty to enforce the rule of law and protect citizens from criminals and anarchy. It’s even worse when the citizens see its government working hand in hand with the race grievance industry as represented by the likes of Al Sharpton and  his ilk consorting with the President.  Our citizens are right to cast a wary eye on what is likely to happen next.  A gun in hand is better than a hostile and untrustworthy government, whether at home, or in Washington.  So on to the survey:

Gun Rights Outweigh Gun Control In New Pew Survey

For the first time in at least 20 years, significantly more Americans say it’s more important to protect the right to own guns than to control gun ownership, according to the Pew Research Center.

The survey found that more than half of Americans (52 percent) sided with gun rights compared with the 46 percent who favored gun control.

The findings represent the continuation of a shift that was only briefly interrupted by the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in 2012.

In April 2007, the Pew survey found only 32 percent of Americans said it was more important to protect the right to own guns, while 60 percent said it was more important to control gun ownership.

Pew says its survey, conducted during the first week of this month, also found that well over half of Americans said that owning a gun protects people from crime.

“Do you think that gun ownership in this country does more to… ”

  Protect people from becoming victims of crime Put people’s safety at risk
  % %  
Total 57 38
Men 63 32
Women 51 43
White 62 34
Black 54 41

From Pew:

“Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57 percent) say gun ownership does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, while 38 percent say it does more to endanger personal safety. In the days after Newtown, 48 percent said guns do more to protect people and 37 percent said they placed people at risk.”

The most dramatic shift in opinion took place among black Americans, according to the nonpartisan Pew. In December 2012, only 29 percent of black respondents said owning a gun helps protect people from crime, but this year, 54 percent said so.

Many women also changed their view, Pew says, citing the 51 percent who said owning a gun protects people from becoming victims of crime in 2014, compared with only 40 percent who said so in 2012.

For the most recent survey, Pew says it spoke to 1,507 people 18 years of age or older, spread among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. While about 600 interviews took place on landline phones, around 900 were conducted on cellphones.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

In a comparison of gun violence statistics from 1993 and the current decade that we reported on last year, both Pew and the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics found that the U.S. had experienced a sharp drop in the rate of gun homicides and other violence, despite population growth.

As we reported:

“There were seven gun homicides per 100,000 people in 1993, the Pew Research Center study says, which dropped to 3.6 gun deaths in 2010. The study relied in part on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The researchers used 1993 as a reference point because it’s seen as the height of gun violence in America; they also noted that gun-related violence fell sharply in the 1990s and more gradually in later years.

But Pew also noted that many Americans didn’t seem to agree with the numbers. A survey found that only 12 percent of respondents thought the gun crime rate was lower than it was in 1993 — and 56 percent thought it was higher.”

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