The state of Missouri is pretty pro-gun. I mean, they’ve basically tried to nullify even federal gun control measures, so while there may still be rules in place at the state level, it’s safe to say they’re pretty much in favor of gun rights there.
At least, that’s what we can see based on the bills passed of late.
Yet a recent poll suggests there’s broad support for at least some gun control measures in the Show Me state.
Missourians of all races, classes and political persuasions want safer schools and stricter gun laws, according to a poll released Thursday.
The latest St. Louis University YouGov poll shows support ranging from 63% to 83% for policies that include metal detectors, dedicated police officers, pre-approval of visitors and video security systems in schools.
The survey also found support ranged from 60% to 79% for red-flag laws, waiting periods for handgun purchases and criminal and mental health screenings before buying a firearm. There was little or no support for any bans on gun sales, said Steven Rogers, associate professor of political science and poll director.
“It kind of indicates that even though we’re in a fairly red state, we are having some more progressive policies, a little left of center policies, wanted by voters on both guns and school safety,” Rogers said.
The survey of 900 likely voters was conducted between Feb. 8 and 14. On questions that included the full sample, the margin of error was 3.7%.
I’m going to give the pollsters credit here, their questions are better than most. For example, on the subject of universal background checks, they specifically mentioned “gun shows and private sales.” While gun shows have a lot more background checks performed than many think, the specific mention of private sales is far more useful than we normally get from polls.
There’s less ambiguity, so good on them. However, the polls has a fairly small sample size for a state as large as Missouri, so I do question the findings, but they at least asked solid questions.
That said, there are still things the poll didn’t seem to do, other than use a larger sample size.
You see, it’s easy to say that you support a general policy as a general thing. It’s quite another to actually change your voting preferences in order to show that support.
For example, a lot of ostensibly pro-gun folks favor things like red flag laws. They’re not about to go full-on Ryan Busse, though, and start backing every gun control candidate out there. They favor one particular policy, not an overall approach that would lead to a restrictive environment for gun owners.
Not in Missouri, not anywhere.
But that’s not to say there’s no cause for concern. Missouri lawmakers have gone and done some very pro-gun things, the kinds of things that may make some of these voters nervous enough that they do start to look toward anti-gun candidates.
It’s going to be important for advocates for the state’s current laws to address these concerns as well as address the many failings of these gun control policies. If not, there could be problems down the road.