Poll finds voters don't find gun control laws helpful

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

We don’t govern by polls in this country, and that’s ultimately a good thing. However, any politician who wants to keep their job has to pay some degree of attention to those polls.

If they ignore them and the policy works, then they’re fine, but many times, they’re out of a job long before anyone sees the results. That’s because laws often take time to yield results.

So lawmakers pay attention, even if they’re not fully driven by them. As such, I can’t wait to see how they’re going to react to this one:

A new poll finds that more than eight of 10 U.S. voters believe strict gun control laws in major cities either make no difference in the current retail crime surge or make it worse.

The survey by the Trafalgar Group revealed that 47.1% of respondents from all political affiliations said that “the strict gun laws in most major cities” make “no difference” in the current retail crime surge and 37.3% believe they make it “worse.” Just 15.6% of voters said they believed the gun laws make the retail crime surge “better.”

Pollster Robert Cahaly, who founded Trafalgar Group in 2016, said the findings echo a recent polling trend that shows a growing voter backlash against progressive police reform policies.

“There seems to be a growing consensus among urban residents that less police, releasing criminals and failure to prosecute are making them feel less safe,” Mr. Cahaly said. “They are frustrated that unlike most who live in rural and suburban areas, city residents don’t feel they have the right to protect themselves due to gun restrictions that only hurt law-abiding citizens.”

The poll showed that large numbers of likely Democrat, Republican and independent voters find strict gun laws ineffective, although Democrats proved likeliest to find them helpful.

While 30.1% of Democrats said strict gun laws make the retail crime surge “better,” only 9.8% of independents and 7.3% of Republicans said the same.

That’s interesting because it basically says that 70 percent of Democrats don’t think gun control helps.

Now, that shouldn’t be read as if 70 percent thinks it makes things worse. It only means they’re unconvinced it’s going to produce the promised results.

Regardless, that’s big. That’s really big.

See, the only way gun control can be sold is if we simply accept restrictions on our Second Amendment rights because it will help reduce crime. If no one believes that, then the marketing simply isn’t working.

If a poll shows that many Democrats are unconvinced – to say nothing of over 90 percent of independents and Republicans – then is there really a chance of the latest gun control push going anywhere?

Probably not.

That doesn’t mean it’ll stop the push right away. Most anti-Second Amendment lawmakers are going to continue touting polls from a few years ago that say most people support certain policies, for one thing. They have those polls, and they’re not letting them go anytime soon. It’s funny that they expect us to accept those polls, but they’ll ignore polls like this.

It should be remembered, though, that this poll doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If it did, we could probably dismiss it. Instead, it’s just another in a growing list that shows support for gun control just isn’t there anymore.

It’s time to bury the concept. Violent crime is real, but disarming the potential victims of that crime isn’t going to come across to anyone as a winning strategy. It’s time to move on and try something else.