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Monday, October 2, 2017

IS THIS FINALLY TIME FOR SOME SENSIBLE GUN CONTROL?

Yes, but forget any kind of gun control in the United States for some time to come.  With Republicans controlling both the Congress and White House, the deadliest shooting massacre ever is not enough to spur significant change.

Last night before I went to bed, the TV news indicated more than a hundred were killed and many others injured in Las Vegas by a lone gunman.  The morning paper said only two dead, but as I now watch CNN, more than 58 dead and 500+ injured are the current statistics.  The information keeps changing, the latest intelligence is that White Supremacy and Muslim terrorism are probably not the behind this tragedy.


Quinnipiac University. June 22-27, 2017. N=1,212 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.4.
"Do you support or oppose stricter gun laws in the United States?"9/15 & earlier: "Do you support or oppose stricter gun control laws in the United States?"

SupportOpposeUnsure/
No answer
%%%
6/22-27/17
54424
Republicans
27685
Democrats
80182
Independents
54423
6/21-27/16
54424
12/16-20/15
47503
9/17-21/15
45487
6/24-30/14
50473
9/23-29/13
54415
3/26 - 4/1/13
53424
2/27 - 3/4/13
51427
1/30 - 2/4/13
52435
7/8-13/08
54405

Clearly, stricter gun laws are favored by Democrats (80% - 18% against) and opposed by Republicans (27% - with 68% in favor) .

Most favor background checks:

"Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?"
SupportOpposeUnsure/
No answer
%%%
6/22-27/17
945-
Republicans
9371
Democrats
982-
Independents
955-

But any background check would not have alerted authorities to Stephen Paddock, because he was a reasonably wealthy retired accountant who had no negative record of any kind.  His father was a convicted bank robber, so that might have in some way influenced attitudes.  Yet, his brother Eric surely looked "normal" on TV and was absolutely astounded that Stephen did what he did.

Further:

"If more people carried guns, do you think the United States would be safer or less safe?"
SaferLess
safe
Unsure/
No answer
%%%
6/22-27/17
35578
Republicans
612812
Democrats
9874
Independents
36568

Again, the partisan difference is significant.  If every one of the 20,000 and more in the audience at this country-western performance had a gun, perhaps there might have been more casualties, for some would have hastily shot back.  

CBS News Poll. April 21-24, 2017. N=1,214 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.
"In general, do you think laws covering the sale of guns should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now?"
More
strict
Less
strict
Kept as
they are
Unsure/
No answer
%%%%
4/21-24/17
5411332
Republicans
3816442
Democrats
735201
Independents
5111371

Finally:

McClatchy-Marist Poll. July 5-9, 2016. N=1,053 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.
"Do you think Americans are safer with more guns or fewer guns?"
More
guns
Fewer
guns
Number is
about right
(vol.)
Unsure
%%%%
ALL
454635
Democrats
167724
Republicans
791633
Independents
444457
"Do you favor or oppose a law to ban the sale of assault weapons and semi-automatic rifles?"
FavorOpposeUnsure
%%%
ALL
51463
Democrats
74233
Republicans
30664
Independents
48493

Apparently, Paddock had no automatic weapons, although he might have converted a rifle to that capability.  But you would have thought more Republicans would be for banning human-killing machines.

However, the general public, meaning voters, strongly support the banning of these weapons.  Continuing:

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by Hart Research Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R). June 19-23, 2016. N=1000 registered voters nationwide.  Margin of error, plus or minus 3.1.


"One proposal in Congress would ban the sale of selected semi-automatic firearms referred to as assault weapons. Would you favor or oppose this proposal or do you not have an opinion one way or the other?"

FavorOpposeUnsure
%%%
6/19-23/16
513118

There is bipartisan support for the following:

CBS News Poll. June 13-14, 2016. N=1,001 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 4.
"Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?"
FavorOpposeUnsure/
No answer
%%%
6/13-14/16
8982
Republicans
9262
Democrats
9721
Independents
82153

"As you may know, individuals on the U.S. government's terrorist watch list are not allowed to fly on planes. Would you support or oppose banning those on the U.S. government's terrorist watch list from purchasing guns?"

SupportOpposeUnsure/
No answer
%%%
6/21-27/16
86122
Republicans
85122
Democrats
9181
Independents
83153

However, Paddock appeared to be just another American and passed all background checks.

From Quinnipiac:

"Is your opinion of the National Rifle Association favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about it?"
FavorableUnfavorableHaven't
heard enough
Refused
%%%%
6/21-27/16
3836242
Republicans
727192
Democrats
862301
Independents
3638232

To conserve space, I won't even go into the inanity called the National Rifle Association.  You can find another hundred surveys on this subject.  Today there seem to be extreme views about everything from North Korea to hurricanes to Russia, but gun control has not changed much, even after Sandy Hook, where 26 were killed, 20 children, by, again, just another deranged American, Adam Lanza.

Why are so many citizens so enamored with guns?
  • There seems to be some sincere, but probably ignorant, support for the Constitution, plus high sense of liberty and freedom.  To buy a gun is a right, and don't you dare take that away from me.
  • Sure guns kill, but they also protect.  I want the security for peace of mind.
I've posted on this issue on innumerable occasions, and the one that sticks in my mind was:


To quote:
  • When this amendment was created:
    • the military and citizens owned muskets
    • lawmakers were fearful of a new government
    • there was no organized police network
    • there remained the danger of the British
    • there were Indians
  • If I lived then I would own a musket.
And:

But times have changed!  A well regulated Militia armed with pistols and even assault rifles would not stand a chance against our Department of Defense equipped with tanks, F-35s, aircraft carriers, nuclear missiles and the like.  The argument that you can't trust the government so you need guns to neutralize them is absurd.

More gun ownership means a higher rate of gun deaths:

Oh, we own more guns/residents than any other country, by far:
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I can go on and on, but read my posting on gun control.   Amen.

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