Poll: Most Americans Favor Gun Rights

AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File

How many times do gun control advocates claim that their policies should be implemented in spite of the Second Amendment simply because most people favor them? I don't know about you, but I've heard it a million times, and I don't think I'm exaggerating at this point.


The idea has long been held as absolutely accurate. Supposedly, gun control has broad popular support and we should be tripping over ourselves to make it happen.

In fact, it's a key part of why the Biden campaign thinks it can "flip the script" on the gun debate.

But a new poll suggests that might be a lost cause for Biden and anti-gunners as a whole.

Americans by and large support gun-rights protections, but their opinions on the matter differ significantly based on who they plan to vote for this November.

Those are the key findings of a Pew Research Center poll of registered voters released last week. The survey found that 52 percent of registered voters believe it is more important to protect gun rights than it is to control gun ownership. Meanwhile, 54 percent of voters believe gun ownership does more to increase public safety by allowing law-abiding citizens to protect themselves than it does to reduce it.

However, feelings split heavily along partisan lines. Eighty-five percent of Trump supporters agreed it is more important to protect gun rights, compared with just 19 percent of Biden supporters. 86 percent of Trump supporters say gun ownership improves public safety. In comparison, 76 percent of Biden supporters say it reduces safety by giving too many people access to firearms and increasing misuse.

The survey findings highlight the growing ideological divide among American voters and their attitudes toward firearms. Those divides could take on new significance heading into this November’s presidential election as voters will be asked to choose between two candidates on polar opposite ends of the spectrum on gun issues.


Personally, I'm not overly shocked or worried about the partisan divide. While I'd love to see Democrats embrace gun rights, the truth is that they haven't for quite some time. 

What is concerning is that the same poll found that most people think more guns in this country is bad, which seems to run contrary to the idea that the majority also think gun ownership makes us safer.

I can't even begin to comprehend how they can see it that way, though I suspect they figured the guns in question in the latter question dealt with guns in criminal hands. That's just speculation, though.

So, how does this help us?

I'm not sure it does.

After all, we know that people tend to be apathetic about guns in general. The polling didn't seem to ask them about how important the issue is, which means it could be anything at all from "I think this way but absolutely will not vote because of this position" to "this is the hill I will die on and I will vote against any politician who doesn't share my view."

So, without that knowledge, there's no reason to think this overrides the general apathy we've seen of late, including from the gun community itself.

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