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Gun polls

This poll was pleasantly surprising:

Does the U.S. need stricter gun control laws?

Yes 39%

No 52%

Update: 52 + 39 = 91. Does that mean 9% favor less strict laws?

Of course, I’d wager most Americans don’t know what current gun laws actually are. Also, this poll is interesting (but not as surprising):

A Gallup poll finds that Republicans are more likely to be gun owners and hunters than Democrats.

The poll found that 40 percent of U.S. residents say they live in a household with a gun in the home or on the property. Thirty percent say they own a gun personally while 12 percent say the weapon belongs to another member of the household.

A majority of Republicans, 55 percent, report living in a household with a gun, while only 32 percent of Democrats do.

Overall, equal numbers of gun owners use the weapons for protection, hunting and target shooting. But these numbers also have a partisan tinge, with Republicans more likely to give hunting and target shooting as reasons for owning a weapon.

The poll says that gun ownership has gone up and down over the years. In October, when the Gallup Organization conducted its most recent crime poll, it found that a smaller percentage of people own guns now than from 1959 to 1968 and 1989 to 1993. In 1999, only one in three households had a gun.

Does that mean there was an increase from 1968 to 1988 and an increase after 1999? David Hardy says yes. I recall reading where gun ownership rose quite a bit after 9/11, after the London bombing, and after Katrina. And, also at David Hardy’s, a commentator says:

I wonder how honest gun owners are when someone calls them up and says “do you own any guns?” If I got a call like that I’d hang up.

7 Responses to “Gun polls”

  1. Manish Says:

    52 + 39 = 91. Does that mean 9% favor less strict laws?

    The 9% are people who either don’t have an opinion or refuse to answer.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    I realize that. Some may refuse to answer because they think their opinion isn’t represented by the possible answers.

  3. pepe Says:

    indeed. some may think “I’d like tougher sentencing for armed robbers and gun thieves, but I don’t want to be casting a vote for tougher licensing for the law-abiding, or waiting periods, etc”

    Of course, Iíd wager most Americans donít know what current gun laws actually are.

    There is some history to that idea, I think it may be in one of Kleck’s books. Respondants in a few polls answered that they favoured tighter gun control, or felt that courts were too lenient on criminals. Then when asked specifically what type of gun-control policies they favored (background checks, proof of identity, age restrictions, etc) or what sentences were appropriate for various crimes, they ended up recommending the gun control policies or sentencing guidelines that were already in place and being practiced.

  4. Captain Holly Says:

    I wouldn’t believe any poll by anyone on gun ownership. If someone called my house and asked how many guns I owned, I’d say “none of your damned business”. (If you look at Gallup’s data, you’ll see that the percentage of gun ownership stayed pretty static (between 40 and 45%) up until 1993. That year, it took a nose dive.)

    But since that answer would automatically flag me as a gun owner, I’d lie and say “none”. And I’d be willing to bet that a good percentage of gun owners would do the same thing.

  5. homebru Says:

    “I do not participate in telephone surveys.”

    [hanging up sounds]

  6. GLN Admin Says:

    Just as an FYI, we are also running a poll. We are interested in finding out if people would support repeal of the Lautenberg Amendment. The results thus far are not unexpected. Addtionally we are trying to collect stories of ‘Lautenberg Victims’ in the hopes they can later be presented as evidence that the LA is an unjust law.

  7. tgirsch Says:

    I think the Gallup poll is probably exactly backwards. It’s not so much that Republicans are more likely to be gun owners, it’s that gun owners are more likely to be Republicans. In any case, I think this has more to do with the fringes than with the middle. Dyed-in-the-wool gun nuts, if they associate with either party, are going to be Republicans, and “hoplophobes” are going to be Democrats. For those who don’t fit into either of those categories, I’m guessing the split would be roughly even, with a slight GOP tilt.