The Dallas Morning News is out with a new poll of voters in the state that focuses quite a bit on gun ownership, including those who’ve purchased a firearm for the first time in the past few months. There’s some interesting stats in the poll, but I have to say right up front that I’m more than a little skeptical of some of the poll results based on its sample, which is skewed heavily towards urban voters.
Of the 1078 people who were polled about having a gun in their home, nearly 1,000 were classified as living in metro areas, while just 101 people were from the suburbs or rural areas. I wish the poll had been more balanced, particularly regarding suburban voters, but there are still a few findings worth highlighting.
According to the poll, conducted by UT-Tyler for the Dallas Morning News, 34% of urban voters admit to having a gun in their home, compared to 54% of suburban/rural voters. Of those who purchased a firearm within the past 90 days, according to the poll, 54% say that this was their first time ever to buy a gun.
Oddly, while the poll asks several questions about gun ownership, it didn’t ask respondents why they purchased a firearm in the past 90 days. The Dallas Morning News also claims that new gun owners actually back Biden over Trump, though the paper doesn’t give any hard data and I’ve been unable to confirm that information by looking at the poll itself. It could be that the skewed sample in favor of urban voters may have given Biden an edge, but we’re also talking about a sample size of 90 respondents, which is really too small to draw any firm conclusions.
Meanwhile, NPR has a report out this weekend about the number of new gun owners who don’t fit the stereotype of a middle-aged white guy. Black gun ownership is rising faster than any other demographic group, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and NPR focused on one couple in Colorado who took the plunge and became gun owners earlier this spring. Kat Traylor is a Democratic campaign operative who’s actually given a few interviews about why she decided to purchase a gun. Besides the NPR piece, she spoke to the New York Times earlier this summer in which she discussed her somewhat reluctant embrace of her Second Amendment rights.
“I’ve been fighting for gun regulations in my state for eight years,” said Kat Traylor, of Aurora, Colorado.
“Regardless of who was in office, our lives didn’t get any better for black and brown communities, in fact they just stayed the same,” she explained.
“That’s when the realization hit, until we have legislation and all the wrong people don’t have guns, you need a gun,” Traylor said.
“Guns are dangerous. I never wanted one in my home. But a month ago, I bought a handgun, and I learned how to shoot it,” she explained. “Right now, I need a gun to be safe in this country.”
I’m not sure what legislation is going to guarantee that the “wrong people don’t have guns,” and Traylor didn’t elaborate on what new gun control laws she’d like to see in place, but the fact is that Colorado has passed a number of gun control bills in the past eight years, including universal background checks, a ban on magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds, and a red flag law. Since the first round of gun control laws were put in place back in 2013, violent crime in the state has actually increased.
You’d think that might be enough reason for Traylor to abandon her support for more gun control laws, but it sounds like at the moment she may be one of those new gun owners who plan on voting for Joe Biden, despite all of the evidence in Colorado pointing to the ineffectiveness of his anti-gun agenda.
I’m glad to see so many new gun owners across the country, and I know that not all of them will have the same attitudes towards the Second Amendment that I and many other gun owners share. I still think that we have the opportunity and responsibility to reach out to as many of these new gun owners as possible, especially on the Left, to remind them that their support for gun control and things like defunding the police are fundamentally at odds with each other.