Despite the slew of mass shootings that have been in the news over the past few years, support for gun rights in America still appears strong. That is, according to a recent Pew poll, which spoke to 2,010 adults, of whom 1,567 were registered voters.
The poll found that 52% of Americans want to want to “protect the right of Americans to own guns,” and 46% want to pass more gun control laws. When the poll was first taken in 2000, 66% of Americans wanted more gun control, and only 29% wanted to protect gun rights.
The Pew poll also found a startling divide between Republicans and Democrats. Though it’s well known that Democrats generally support gun control, and Republicans generally do not, most people don’t realize that this wasn’t always in the case. In the past, support for the Second Amendment didn’t fall so strictly along party lines. These days however…
Today, registered voters who prefer the Democratic candidate are more supportive of controlling gun ownership than during the four previous campaigns, while supporters of the Republican candidate are less supportive.
By more than four-to-one (79% to 19%), Clinton supporters prioritize controlling gun ownership over protecting gun rights. By about nine-to-one (90% to 9%), Trump supporters express the opposite view – that it is generally more important to protect gun rights than control gun ownership.
Of course, since the question merely asks what Americans would generally prefer, there is bipartisan support for certain gun laws. 81% of the population wants “background checks for private and gun show purchases.” The most alarming result from the poll showed that 71% of the population would favor banning guns for people on federal terror watch lists. However, since this is the first time that Pew has asked the question, it’s impossible to say whether or not that idea is becoming more popular among Americans. A so-called “no fly no buy” policy would allow the government to restrict gun ownership to any American on an individual basis, without any due process.
On the plus side, support for an “assault weapons” ban has fallen drastically. A month after the Orlando night club shooting, support for an assault weapons ban exploded to 57% of Americans. Just one month after that, it has fallen to 52%, which is what typically happens in the weeks following a mass shooting.
Perhaps the most positive development for gun rights activists, can be found in how these results break down on demographic lines. Adults in the 18-29 age group had the least amount of support for either an assault weapons ban, or a ban on high capacity magazines. The Hispanic population, which is massive and until recently was the second fastest growing racial demographic in America, also had the least amount of support for those gun control measures. Clearly, the Second Amendment has a future in America.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.