Gallup: Gun control drops to lowest level of support ever

posted at 2:45 pm on October 26, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

If you wonder why Democrats stopped talking about gun control, well, wonder no longer.   Wonder no longer, either, about why Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats never followed up on their talk about re-enacting the so-called “assault rifle” ban.  Gallup’s top line result is stunning, but not as much as its demographic breakdown is:

A record-low 26% of Americans favor a legal ban on the possession of handguns in the United States other than by police and other authorized people. When Gallup first asked Americans this question in 1959, 60% favored banning handguns. But since 1975, the majority of Americans have opposed such a measure, with opposition around 70% in recent years. …

For the first time, Gallup finds greater opposition to than support for a ban on semiautomatic guns or assault rifles, 53% to 43%. In the initial asking of this question in 1996, the numbers were nearly reversed, with 57% for and 42% against an assault rifle ban. Congress passed such a ban in 1994, but the law expired when Congress did not act to renew it in 2004. Around the time the law expired, Americans were about evenly divided in their views.

Here’s the chart from the past 52 years:

If you think that’s dramatic, take a look at what happened to the demographics on this question.  Guess which demos saw the biggest drop in support for stricter gun-control laws?  If you guessed the Midwest, well, score a point for you; support in the heartland dropped 35 points, from 72% in 1991 to 37%.  Midwesterners used to be the second-most supportive of gun control by region but now are the most opposed, even beating the South at 40%.  Aaaaaaaand if you guessed Republicans, score another point.  Two-thirds of Republicans in 1991 wanted more gun control, but it’s down to 31% today.  Independents dropped nearly as much, from 65% to 38%.

In fact, only four demographics show a majority still favoring gun control: women (50%, down 26 points), the East (54%, down 23 points), those with no guns in the household (57%, down 21 points), and … Democrats, down just 10 points to 64%.  That may not seem like much, but that’s still slightly lower than Republicans in 1991.

To get a grip on just how dramatic this change has been, recall the 1995 film The American President, with Michael Douglas and Annette Benning, which used this gun-grabbing speech as its show-stopping climax:

I guess that Hollywood didn’t convince anyone that they’re right. And that is progress.

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Can the headlines and the main site coordinate a little better?

These repeats are getting worse and worse each week.

lorien1973 on October 26, 2011 at 2:46 PM

I like repeats. If the story has legs, it should be repeated.

Blake on October 26, 2011 at 2:48 PM

The gun grabbers care not. This is but more grist for their mill – the more people want to be able to own a gun, the less gun grabbers think they should be able to.

Red Cloud on October 26, 2011 at 2:49 PM

If we could only increase the amount of guns going into Mexico from the United States…

… then we could use that as an excuse enact our gun control agenda!

Oh, wait…!

/

Seven Percent Solution on October 26, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Not a real surprise considering there are outright riots and the threat of more rioting occurring right now. A lot of nutjobs out there right now and people know deep down that they should and can protect themselves if the need arises.

BakerAllie on October 26, 2011 at 2:54 PM

In fact, only four demographics show a majority still favoring gun control: women (50%, down 26 points), the East (54%, down 23 points), those with no guns in the household (57%, down 21 points), and … Democrats, down just 10 points to 64%.

did they poll the ATF? the Zetas??

ted c on October 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM

OCCUPY GALLUP!!!

angryed on October 26, 2011 at 2:56 PM

well, wait. Y’know, if we actually can prove that guns sold in AZ, TX etc. actually cross the border and then kill people, then we just might be able to turn these statistics around, right?
/Dem planning session fly-on-wall

ted c on October 26, 2011 at 2:57 PM

I support controlling as many guns as you can afford. In as many calibers!!! Zombies are coming, I just saw the special on the History channel!

search4truth on October 26, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Thank you, NRA.

cynccook on October 26, 2011 at 2:59 PM

In fact, only four demographics show a majority still favoring gun control: women (50%, down 26 points),

Uh huh! I thought so! Shame!

a capella on October 26, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Every honest poll question about gun control should start with the following sentence:

“There are currently over twenty thousand gun laws on the books.”

See how the numbers change.

fossten on October 26, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Without gun control you can’t hit what you’re aiming at. BTW, instead of teaching graphic sex ed in school, how about teaching gun safety.

rbj on October 26, 2011 at 3:02 PM

I support controlling as many guns as you can afford. In as many calibers!!! Zombies are coming, I just saw the special on the History channel!

search4truth on October 26, 2011 at 2:58 PM

and i think you have to buy special loads to score a kill on a zombie, I dunno what they are tho’…

ted c on October 26, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Given that the Regime tried desperately and illegally to create a scenario of out of control guns crossing the border, this has put the need for personal defense. Plus, the Regime scared enough people into making huge gun and ammo purchases for fear that the Regime would forcibly cut off the legal ownership of guns.

Kini on October 26, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Looking at that graph, since 1976 support for a ban seems to mirror which party controls the WH. When a Dem is sitting in the Oval Office, support for a ban declines. When it is a Repub, support seems to increase. Hmmm.

NotCoach on October 26, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Without gun control you can’t hit what you’re aiming at. BTW, instead of teaching graphic sex ed in school, how about teaching gun safety.

rbj on October 26, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Liberal: If you do that then these kids will WANT to own and use guys!

NotCoach on October 26, 2011 at 3:05 PM

More ranges need a Ladies Night… and a night where couples get half off on range time for sharing a lane.

Plus the US civilian population has only bought enough in the past three years to equip the Chinese army. Per year. Time to start recruiting amongst the non-shooters… and see if some of the various People’s Republics in the US can’t be dragooned into the 21st century.

This is the change we have been working towards.

ajacksonian on October 26, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Cabe TV has found guns are good for ratings. Not in violence drive action, but in shows about guns or with guns as recreation. (Quoting myself.)

Take a famous New York Chef, give him a hit TV show on the Travel Channel, send him and his crew out to the Ozarks, and what happens?

He gets all gun nutty.

Shameless Blog Promotion

mad saint jack on October 26, 2011 at 3:06 PM

When it is a Repub, support seems to increase. Hmmm.

NotCoach on October 26, 2011 at 3:03 PM

i think that’s the yin/yang of politics. A perpetually shifting tide depending on where the power is concentrated. Right now, with a leviathan government, the people obviously want more power in their hands. Thusly, support for gun control declines, and gun sales rise. Makes sense.

ted c on October 26, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Cabe TV has found guns are good for ratings. Not in violence drive action, but in shows about guns or with guns as recreation.

mad saint jack on October 26, 2011 at 3:06 PM

that’s just something we’ve know for decades. Back in the day, John Wayne movies, other westerns, war movies, Gunsmoke etc..were all hits.

ted c on October 26, 2011 at 3:09 PM

What’s with the photo of the armed guy in a bar?

What the hell does alcohol have to do with this?

fossten on October 26, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Liberal: If you do that then these kids will WANT to own and use guys!

NotCoach on October 26, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Err, guns…

NotCoach on October 26, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Think I’ll buy that Kimber 1911 now…

PatriotRider on October 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM

To get a grip on just how dramatic this change has been, recall the 1995 film The American President, with Michael Douglas and Annette Benning, which used this gun-grabbing speech as its show-stopping climax:

Takes a big, creamy dump on what would otherwise be an incredibly well-made movie and story.

MadisonConservative on October 26, 2011 at 3:21 PM

That guy in The American President would be unemployed nowadays faster than you could say “impeachment”.

amerpundit on October 26, 2011 at 3:22 PM

What’s with the photo of the armed guy in a bar?

What the hell does alcohol have to do with this?

fossten on October 26, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Ummm…you can’t open (or concealed) carry in places that serve alcohol in a number of states. So it’s a gun control issue.

TexasDan on October 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Those on the Left hate gun ownership because guns are not symbols of power. Guns are power and power, in the their view, is rightfully a monopoly of the state.

The talk of the Left in recent months about suspending elections and declaring states of emergency and the like remains only talk as long as a substantial segment of the citizenry possesses firearms. Imagine how frustrating that very simple reality must be to an authoritarian mindset. Without knowing all the facts, I would guess the Fast & Furious operation was driven–at least in part–by that frustration, especially if it is revealed those in charge intended to publicize the flow of guns to Mexican drug cartels as a means to justify greater regulatory and legislative restrictions on gun purchases and ownership.

I’m not saying my late father’s 12-gauge or my little Cold War-era Soviet surplus Tokarev pistol can realistically stop a concerted and forceful effort by a suddenly dictatorial federal government to suspend my rights or to confiscate my property. I’m just saying they would have to work for it.

troyriser_gopftw on October 26, 2011 at 3:29 PM

What’s with the photo of the armed guy in a bar?

What the hell does alcohol have to do with this?

Indeed. I’m a gun enthusiast myself (have a couple of those scary black rifles), but if you’re combining drinking with carrying a gun…you’re doing it wrong!

A chain of stores combining the sale of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms sounds about right though…

Battlecruiser-operational on October 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Without gun control you can’t hit what you’re aiming at. BTW, instead of teaching graphic sex ed in school, how about teaching gun safety.
rbj on October 26, 2011 at 3:02 PM

I first heard some quote like this from Jesse Ventura, back when he was Govenor of MN.
I thought then that it was an effective strategy for confusing those who are against the posession of firearms by the common American citizen.

listens2glenn on October 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

and i think you have to buy special loads to score a kill on a zombie, I dunno what they are tho’…

ted c

Raufoss round to the head. That will do it.

Hard Right on October 26, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Indeed. I’m a gun enthusiast myself (have a couple of those scary black rifles), but if you’re combining drinking with carrying a gun…you’re doing it wrong!

A chain of stores combining the sale of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms sounds about right though…

Battlecruiser-operational

Combo sports bar, shooting range, and gentlemen’s club

Hard Right on October 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Think I’ll buy that Kimber 1911 now…

PatriotRider on October 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Kimber, yes!!!

Look close at the thread photo. 1911 in Condition 1, and it looks like a Kimber.

Yoop on October 26, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Rock Island Armory 1911. You won’t be sorry and won’t spend as much. In fact, you’ll have enough left over to buy another gun!

Hard Right on October 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Those on the Left hate gun ownership because guns are not symbols of power. Guns are power and power, in the their view, is rightfully a monopoly of the state.

Exactly.

The left despises the American citizen having AND exercising the use of independent,individual, and personal “power/capability.”
All of the Federal Bureaus there are (IRS, EPA, BATF, FCC, etc), exist to restrict the American citizen’s exercising of independent, individual, and personal “power/capability.”

listens2glenn on October 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Since we’re on guns – what is the preferred side to have the thumb break on a holster?

Next to you (as in the picture) or on the other side?

Colbyjack on October 26, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I’m not saying my late father’s 12-gauge or my little Cold War-era Soviet surplus Tokarev pistol can realistically stop a concerted and forceful effort by a suddenly dictatorial federal government to suspend my rights or to confiscate my property. I’m just saying they would have to work for it.

In such a scenario if every gun owning citizen being raided took one jack-booted thug with him or her, pretty soon they’d run out of jack-booted thugs…

Battlecruiser-operational on October 26, 2011 at 3:54 PM

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/gdhs_2181_83392215

Katfish on October 26, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Monon Labe!

(modern Greek pronunciation [moˈlon laˈve])

listens2glenn on October 26, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Think I’ll buy that Kimber 1911 now…

PatriotRider on October 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM

This Springfield 1911 works JUST fine (not a single jam in thousands of rounds)…….and as the poster above touting R.I Armory units………you’ll have enough cash left for another weapon or several bricks of ammo!

Katfish on October 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Those on the Left hate gun ownership because guns are not symbols of power. Guns are power and power, in the their view, is rightfully a monopoly of the state.

troyriser_gopftw on October 26, 2011 at 3:29 PM

I think it’s a little more tied to human nature.

Liberals are those who feel that the world is full of danger, that they cannot do anything themselves to stop it, and therefore they want the government to protect and coddle them so that they can pursue their own interests without fear.

Conservatives are those who feel that the world is full of danger, they can protect themselves from it, and therefore they want the government to do only the jobs the citizens cannot take care of themselves.

If a liberal picks up a gun, they realize they have the power to protect themselves, if they have the balls. They realize that they have the power to resist crime, and to resist tyranny…and that scares the ever-living s**t out of them, because they are so full of self-loathing, that they feel sure that they would fail. They would rather live as a child, protected and powerless, than to be independent, powerful citizens who choose their own destiny.

It’s the difference between children and adults.

MadisonConservative on October 26, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Since we’re on guns – what is the preferred side to have the thumb break on a holster?

Next to you (as in the picture) or on the other side?

Colbyjack on October 26, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Obviously nearest you. If you’re going to draw normally, your thumb won’t be on the outside. If you’re going to cross-draw, the situation remains the same.

MadisonConservative on October 26, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Colbyjack on October 26, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Most definitely on the inside.

mfrantom on October 26, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Think I’ll buy that Kimber 1911 now…

PatriotRider on October 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM

I have two of them, a Custom Classic and a Gold Match SS. The Classic is by far my favorite handgun. Close second is my Browning High Power.

Oldnuke on October 26, 2011 at 4:09 PM

and a good sight picture.

gbear on October 26, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Amazing.
As Right To Carry laws are passed in more places, violent crimes have dropped.

As violent crimes have dropped, support for guns has gone up.

It’s almost as if more people with guns, equals more people who like guns.

Whodda thunk??

KMC1 on October 26, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Think I’ll buy that Kimber 1911 now…

PatriotRider on October 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM

I’ve had my Kimber Custom I for well over 10 years now. Excellent firearm.

Yakko77 on October 26, 2011 at 4:10 PM

It’s the difference between children and adults.

Hear Hear, MadCon!

One of my favorite pro-gun sayings is, “When seconds count, the police are minutes away!”

Battlecruiser-operational on October 26, 2011 at 4:11 PM

This Springfield 1911 works JUST fine (not a single jam in thousands of rounds)…….and as the poster above touting R.I Armory units………you’ll have enough cash left for another weapon or several bricks of ammo!

Katfish

My Springfield has been flawless too. Had I known about them at the time, I would have bought a RIA 1911. I’ve done a lot of research on them after the fact and I might sell off my SA 1911 for a high-cap 1911.

Hard Right on October 26, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Fun clip from American President, Ed. I had the distinct privilege of watching that movie for the first time in a suburban theater outside of Dallas. The theater was packed, and the audience was pretty responsive to most of the laugh or applause lines.

But it was completely silent during the climactic “gonna get the guns speech.” It also lapsed into a restless silence when Annette Bening’s character made her speech about getting rid of the internal combustion engine. You could have heard a pin drop both times.

To invoke an of-the-moment metaphor, it was kind of like a human microphone figuring out in mid-sentence that the guy with the megaphone just said something the crowd doesn’t agree with. The responsive performance just peters out, and the wa goes all to pieces.

J.E. Dyer on October 26, 2011 at 4:17 PM

and i think you have to buy special loads to score a kill on a zombie, I dunno what they are tho’…
ted c on October 26, 2011 at 3:02 PM

#4 buckshot (27 .24 cal pellets, 1325 fps, 2 3/4 inch shell)

DSchoen on October 26, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Since we’re on guns – what is the preferred side to have the thumb break on a holster?

Next to you (as in the picture) or on the other side?

Colbyjack on October 26, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Obviously nearest you. If you’re going to draw normally, your thumb won’t be on the outside. If you’re going to cross-draw, the situation remains the same.

MadisonConservative on October 26, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Colbyjack on October 26, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Most definitely on the inside.

mfrantom on October 26, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Thanks.

Colbyjack on October 26, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Vote for Democrat presidents (or allow them to win by not voting for the eventual Republican nominee) and you effectively vote to ban guns.

The 2nd Amendment recently survived a 5 to 4 vote in the Supreme Court, the 4 liberal Justices voting against the right to bear arms. (They consider it a privilege to bear arms that can be revoke on a whim)
Every Democrat president without fail, will appoint justices hostile to the 2nd amendment.

scotash on October 26, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Is it possible that people are finally beginning to understand the plain & simple fact that a handgun in your possession gives you control over your environment?

Owen Glendower on October 26, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Yes, thank you NRA and all the smaller state and local affiliates who also support 2nd Amendment rights.

scotash on October 26, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Exactly right. Thanks.

Caststeel on October 26, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Liberals are those who feel that the world is full of danger, that they cannot do anything themselves to stop it, and therefore they want the government to protect and coddle them so that they can pursue their own interests without fear.

+1. Let me state what I think is the liberal fallacy: If we pass enough laws and get enough programs in place, we will achieve a state of security.

Not going to happen, of course, but that is–apparently–what they believe.

A few weeks ago, I was browsing the comments on a story about NYC’s recent ban on smoking in public parks. Several commenters complained about the nanny-state nature of the law. One commenter justified the law by pointing out that smokers had been adding to the littering problems in the parks.

Hmmm. Okay, there’s a littering problem in the parks. (May we assume that littering is against the law in NYC parks?) Cigarette butts are part of the littering problem. Solution: ban smoking in the parks.

Only a liberal would think like this. Any conservative would say, “How about enforcing the anti-littering laws already on the books?”

Owen Glendower on October 26, 2011 at 5:37 PM

One Acronym : O.W.S.

CW on October 26, 2011 at 6:19 PM

“…When a Dem is sitting in the Oval Office, support for a ban declines…”

Perhaps that is because Dem Presidents institute policies that hinder gun ownership, and the support for a ban declines as people see what the consequences of a ban look like, and they buy more guns. Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, are considered two of the best salesmen the firearms selling community has ever seen, as sales sky-rocketed under their leadership.

Another Drew on October 26, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I want to know who the **** they were asking in 1959, college professors?

Merovign on October 26, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Umm assault rifles are actually still banned since they’re by definition an automatic weapon.(You mean assault weapon which pretty much means whatever congress says it is.)

Dave_d on October 26, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Umm assault rifles are actually still banned since they’re by definition an automatic weapon.(You mean assault weapon which pretty much means whatever congress says it is.)

Dave_d on October 26, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Assault weapons are not ‘by definition’ capable of automatic fire. The 1994 AWB encompassed non-automatic weapons, as well, depending on state. NYS Penal Law § 265.00(22) defined “Assault Weapon” to include “a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following characteristics… (iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor.”

The term ‘assault weapon’ is not very descriptive of itself. For example, the M-14, predecessor of the M16, could possibly/probably be considered an assault weapon. In my view, the words ‘assault weapon’ were chosen because the nomenclature was so vague, leaving the government to include just about anything they wanted.

I put a folding stock and a flash suppressor on my Ruger 10/22, largely so my son would feel tacticool when he fires it at the range. Only squirrels and sparrows would view it as an assault weapon.

troyriser_gopftw on October 26, 2011 at 8:44 PM

The new term is “sports rifle”.

slug on October 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Think I’ll buy that Kimber 1911 now…

PatriotRider on October 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM

If you are going to splurge (kimber is a fine weapon), go all out and get the .22 conversion kit. You can practice with the same frame and trigger pull with no recoil, and seriously cheap cheap per round.

.45 is the right choice, too. Needing a second shot is just silly.

iurockhead on October 26, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Dozens and dozens of prisoners released from death row have gone on to murder again. No one knows exactly how many, but it’s a lot more than the number of innocent men who have been executed in America, which, at least since 1950, is zero.

What is liberals’ evidence that there will be more rapes and murders if Obama’s jobs bill doesn’t pass? Biden claims that, without it, there won’t be enough cops to interrupt a woman being raped in her own home – which would be an amazing bit of police work/psychic talent, if it had ever happened. (That’s why Americans like guns, liberals.)

I despise liberals…..I resent and…well I hate them truthfully. Their “arguments” are specious, immature, fraudulent, ignorant and totally asinine.

They live in an unreal world…full of dope, silly dreams and unreal expectations. Much like children…..NO…exactly like children. Who we want to and need to protect until they see what the earth is really like.

And they are the reason that a country like ours…is stuck in guilt, inaction, lawlessness and crime.

Twana on October 26, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Assault weapons are not ‘by definition’ capable of automatic fire.

Right, “Assault Rifles” are the ones that are capable of auto fire and those were banned before, during, and after the AWB but by a different law. Of course people hear “Assault Weapon” and confuse it with “Assault Rifle” and think the repeal of the AWB means machine guns are legal now.

Dave_d on October 27, 2011 at 12:52 AM

Every Democrat president without fail, will appoint justices hostile to the 2nd amendment.

scotash on October 26, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Prove to me that Romney won’t. And don’t bother telling me what he “promised” to do. That counts for nothing.

Extrafishy on October 27, 2011 at 6:48 AM