By Larry Keane
Gun control groups worked for decades to impose Second Amendment restrictions that do little to reduce crime. They’ve used public relations campaigns, scare tactics and rhetoric that never addresses those actually committing these tragedies.
Over the past two years, though, Americans have experienced first-hand what happens when they are left defenseless against criminals that don’t follow the law. A new poll shows law-abiding Americans have had enough of the gun control groups’ schemes and the ruse is up.
Laws Against Law-Abiding
New data from the Trafalgar Group is noteworthy, showing more than 80 percent of Americans now believe strict gun control in some of the country’s biggest cities has had “no effect” on reducing violent crime and they even “make cities even more dangerous” for law-abiding citizens. That’s bad news for gun control groups. The good news is that law-abiding Americans are waking up to their rights.
Robert Cahaly conducted the survey and remarked the findings aren’t surprising.
“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,” 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.”
These are the sentiments that led to 40 percent of 2020’s record 21 million gun buyers being first-time purchasers. The trend is similar for firearm purchases in 2021, that finished the year out with over 18.5 million background checks for gun sales. The first six months of 2021 saw at least 3.2 million first-time gun buyers.
Even more consequential for politicians pushing more gun restrictions is that only 10 percent of Independents believe gun control makes the current crime surge “better.” More than 30 percent of Democrats believe it, revealing a major voting constituency that was previously reliable is losing faith in the gun-control-as-a-solution narrative.
The Trafalgar poll mirrors numerous national polls showing Americans’ appetite for gun control slipping to the lowest levels in years.
Public Safety Whiplash
Americans’ abandonment of gun control hasn’t occurred in a vacuum. They’ve had numerous first-hand experiences over the past two years showing why the Second Amendment is critical even if they didn’t believe so before.
The coronavirus lockdowns started off with widespread concerns for neighborhood safety and police departments became short-staffed. District attorneys released criminals and community violence, rioting and violent looting erupted in the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd. Calls to defund the police reverberated in cities that already imposed strict gun control. Through all this, law-abiding Americans responded by taking responsibility for their personal and family safety by purchasing a gun.
Americans have become fed up with the failure of elected officials who push gun control rather than holding criminals to account for their crimes, the polling shows. Surprising no one, the same politicians that cut funds to law enforcement and supported leniency on convicted criminals are turning 180 degrees, refunding community safety budgets and hoping voters don’t remember.
In Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Oakland, San Francisco – the list is long of city leaders who had these epiphanies and realized residents wouldn’t tolerate cutting police budgets. Los Angelinos were told by press release that should they be the victim of a crime, to “cooperate and comply.”
In San Francisco, Democratic Mayor London Breed cut $120 million from police budgets last year only to reverse course. She exclaimed two weeks ago that, “It’s time that the reign of the criminals who are destroying our city—it is time for it to come to an end.” She made the statement while requesting emergency law enforcement funds from city supervisors.
Real Solutions. Safer Communities®
While gun control has repeated the same calls for more restrictions on gun ownership that don’t reduce violent crime, the firearm industry has invested in several proven Real Solutions®. The results show. For example, industry efforts led to the federal passage of the Fix NICS Act with bipartisan support that dramatically increased records submitted to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to make the background check system work as intended. Operation Secure Store® educates firearm retailers on how to better secure their inventory and reduce criminal smash-and-grab break ins. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) data covering the first half of 2021 showed a steep decline in these crimes.
The firearm industry understands more laws and restrictions on gun ownership won’t make Americans or their communities safer. Criminals don’t follow the laws. Elected officials and gun control groups still don’t realize this even if more Americans do.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.