I have to be honest, I’m a little shocked it’s not higher. I mean it’s common sense. Encouraging more law-abiding and responsible citizens to carry firearms for self-defense would make the country safer. Then again, the problem with common sense is that it’s not that common.
In any event, I suppose I should introduce the topic before I keep pontificating, a recent Gallup poll investigating gun ownership and gun laws in this country came to the following conclusions:
- 56% say more concealed weapons would make country safer
- Americans overwhelmingly support universal background checks
- Americans split on effect of background-check laws on mass shootings
That’s correct, a little more than half of the country correctly believes that when one takes responsibility for one’s safety, by exercising one’s right to keep and bear arms, there is an aggregate effect that makes us all safer. To state the obvious, an armed society is a polite society.
It should also be said that that’s how to maximize public safety — not by removing the individual’s right to protect oneself, but by empowering one to embrace it responsibly.
As for the other findings in the study, well, when the issue of universal background checks is presented at face value of course a majority are going to support it. In theory, I support it. In practice, however, it has the real potential to become a nightmare as it could lead to registration schemes, the criminal prosecution of neighbors who give guns to other neighbors, and de-facto taxation on the transfer of firearms, which is tantamount to taxing the Second Amendment. What this poll tells me is that the vast majority of Americans haven’t really researched or thought seriously about the issue.
Background checks don’t stop mass shootings. Just like the thousands of other laws on the books don’t stop mass shootings. The reality is that more often than not mass shooters plan their attacks well in advance and are cognizant of how to circumvent the law when required. They may be crazy, but they’re not stupid. Plus, most do not have a criminal history or a documented mental health history that would prevent them from purchasing a firearm via a gun store. So, yes, when half of the Gallup respondents question the efficacy of background checks as a means to thwart mass shootings, they are indeed correct.
“Gallup’s most recent poll on gun control shows that a majority of Americans favor stricter gun sale laws in this country. At the same time, however, less than half of Americans believe that one such stricter law — universal background checks — would prevent mass shootings,” wrote Frank Newport, director of the Gallup Poll. In fact, a majority say that if more Americans carried concealed weapons after passing background checks and training, the nation would be safer.
“Previous research shows that three in four Americans are opposed to banning handguns, and Americans in the past have overwhelmingly interpreted the Second Amendment as giving Americans the rights to own guns,” Newport continued.
“All of this research supports the conclusion that Americans believe they should be allowed to own and carry guns, but with more stringent background checks. Americans are inclined to believe that carrying properly permitted guns could make the country safer,” he concluded.
So, there you have it. What are your thoughts on this recent poll? Do you see it as good news or bad news for the health and well-being of the gun community?