Politico released the details on a new poll regarding the public’s feelings on gun control. For many gun rights activists, it’s not welcome news either. After all, it shows massive support for a number gun control measures that pro-Second Amendment group have been fighting for years including universal background checks, waiting periods, and a national gun sale registry.
Sixty-four percent of voters support stricter gun laws, the poll shows, including 41 percent who strongly support them. Less than 3-in-10 voters, 29 percent, oppose stricter gun laws, including 16 percent in strong opposition.
That’s a slight increase in support from June of this year, when 61 percent of voters backed stricter gun laws and 33 percent opposed them.
Democratic voters are overwhelmingly supportive of new gun laws: Eighty-three percent back stricter laws, compared with only 12 percent who oppose them. Among independents, 58 percent support stricter gun control, and a third oppose them.
But the poll also finds some less-likely groups are closely split. Forty-nine percent of Republican voters support stricter gun control laws, and 45 percent oppose them. Among voters who said they supported Donald Trump in last year’s election, 46 percent are in favor of stricter gun laws and 48 percent are opposed.
A 55 percent majority of gun owners back new restrictions, while 41 percent oppose them.
Seventy-nine percent of voters support banning the use of bump fire stocks — the device the Las Vegas shooter used to modify a dozen of his semi-automatic weapons to fire hundreds of rounds per minute. Only 13 percent of voters oppose banning bump fire stocks.
Further, they found that 88 percent of those surveyed support universal background checks as well as 87 percent supporting “Preventing sales of all firearms to people who have been reported as dangerous to law enforcement by a mental-health provider.”
The thing is, none of that really matters.
The poll was conducted between October 5 and October 9, all well within the period where people were still trying to process what happened in Las Vegas. In other words, the poll caught people when they were emotional, which means they’re answering from their heart, not their brain.
If you recall, polling following Newtown and Orlando both showed massive support for new gun control measures as well…initially. You see, when there is a massive tragedy, many people are desperate to find something they can do to make a difference. When pollster’s call to ask questions, they answer right off the bat that yes, they support potential new laws.
Then things settle down. More to the point, they settle down. They look at the proposals and realize that no, new laws requiring background checks for every gun sale won’t actually do anything except annoy law-abiding gun owners. They recognize that someone simply being “reported” to law enforcement as dangerous sounds like a gross violation of due process.
In other words, they start to think. In thinking, they recognize that emotion is no way to craft good laws.
Emotion, however, is how you craft laws anti-gun legislators prefer. That’s why there was a poll launched mere days after the tragedy. It wasn’t to get a bead on what people were thinking or feeling after the brutal attack. In fact, there’s nothing there at all about Las Vegas directly. Instead, it was ghoulish attempt to use the corpses of the slain as a platform, same as it always is.
In time, people will calm down and this massive numbers will decrease. Same as it has every time before.