While the lack of gun sales has been termed the “Trump Slump” due to the argument that people aren’t buying guns because they’re not worried about losing them, a recent poll may cause us to question just that. It seems that many Americans fear a government overreach on guns. Half, as a matter of fact.
The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of 1,200 adults conducted between August 5 and 9 found 35 percent of respondents listed gun rights or gun control as the top issue they considered important enough to have an impact on their voting. That’s more than environmental issues at 30 percent, immigration at 28 percent, or abortion at 17 percent. Respondents picked gun policy as important to their vote more often than any other issue surveyed, though issues like foreign policy, the economy, and national defense were purposefully left out of the question.
The poll also found respondents were more worried about the government going too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns than the government not doing enough to regulate access to firearms. Fifty percent were more concerned about government overreach while 45 percent were more concerned with the government not doing enough. Another 3 percent were concerned about a mix of both situations, 1 percent weren’t concerned about either, and 1 percent weren’t sure.
Respondents were split on whether attempts to place limits on gun rights bothered them. Forty-two percent said those attempts bothered them either a great deal or quite a bit. Forty-two percent said they bothered them very little or not at all. An additional 16 percent said they were bothered “just some.”
For the record, that’s 120 million people that would admit to a stranger on the phone that they have a gun in their home. Many others would say no to that question despite having their own arsenals for numerous reasons. I suspect that means the actual number is well north of 50 percent at the very least.
The fact that half are concerned about a governmental overreach, despite the GOP controlling both chambers of Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court comes across a little odd, but maybe it shouldn’t? After all, there are still plenty of state-level threats. Just look at what we’ve published about California alone.
Further, without a fundamental cultural change on firearms, the threats to our gun rights will eventually return to power. Pro-gun forces won’t maintain control indefinitely, so there’s plenty to be concerned about moving forward.