Gallup: Dissatisfaction with gun laws jumps to 12-year high

posted at 8:31 am on January 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Has the Newtown shooting and the media blitz for gun control started to move the needle politically? Gallup’s latest survey shows the highest percentage of dissatisfaction in a dozen years with current gun laws by those who want them toughened, but it’s still only a little more than a third of the country:

In the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, and as Vice President Joe Biden leads a federal task force that will recommend ways to curb gun violence in the U.S., 38% of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation’s gun laws and want them strengthened. This is up from 25% who held this set of views a year ago, and is the highest since 2001. Still, more Americans are either satisfied with current gun laws, 43%, or think they should be loosened, 5%.

These findings are based on two questions in Gallup’s annual Mood of the Nation survey, conducted Jan. 7-10. The first asks respondents if they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the nation’s laws or policies on guns. Those saying they are dissatisfied are asked a follow-up question to determine whether they think the laws should be made more strict, made less strict, or kept as they are. As a result, the 38% who are dissatisfied and want stricter gun laws indicates not only a preference for stricter gun laws but a certain amount of intensity of feeling on the subject.

The uptick in support for strengthening gun laws seen on this question is consistent with a December Gallup pollconducted after the Newtown shootings that found a similar shift over the past year, using a question that does not measure intensity of opinion. That question, Gallup’s long-term-trend measure of gun law preferences, found 58% of all Americans saying gun laws should be stricter, up sharply from 43% in 2011.

Well, that’s true as far as it goes.  The same survey, which we noted at the time, also showed people opposed to the two options that the media has pushed.  Opposition to a handgun ban hit 74%, an all-time high, just days after the Sandy Hook mass murder took place.  A majority of 51% opposed reinstating the so-called “assault weapons” ban, too, although the support for the ban grew to 44%.  And while the dissatisfaction with current gun laws jumped 13 points, it’s still less than 40% — and that’s among the general population, too, not registered or likely voters.

So what exactly would get a consensus, at least based on these polls?  There will probably be quite a bit of political support for expanded background checks, and perhaps a requirement for background checks on private sales.  The latter will get a lot of opposition from gun owners, who don’t see the need to cut a licensed dealer in on sales made to people well-known to the seller, and who will argue (rightly) that this won’t stop the transactions that put guns in the hands of criminals anyway — most of which come through thefts and straw-man purchases that already evade the system.  Nevertheless, absent the ability to pass an assault-weapons ban, expect the Obama administration to push these two approaches as a way of being seen to “do something” after Newtown.

Meanwhile, the truth about all of these options is that none of them would have stopped the shooting anyway.  Connecticut had an assault-weapons ban in place, and the rest of these measures were irrelevant to the ability of the shooter to arm himself for the massacre.  We’re not solving the problem; the political class is merely trying to look busy.  And in the meantime, Americans continue to vote with their wallets:

As Washington focuses on what Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will propose next week to curb gun violence, gun and ammunition sales are spiking in the rest of the country as people rush to expand their arsenals in advance of any restrictions that might be imposed.

People were crowded five deep at the tiny counter of a gun shop near Atlanta, where a pastor from Knoxville, Tenn., was among the customers who showed up in person after the store’s Web site halted sales because of low inventory. Emptying gun cases and bare shelves gave a picked-over feel to gun stores in many states. High-capacity magazines, which some state and federal officials want to ban or restrict, were selling briskly across the country: one Iowa dealer said that 30-round magazines were fetching five times what they sold for just weeks ago.

Gun dealers and buyers alike said that the rapid growth in gun sales — which began climbing significantly after President Obama’s re-election and soared after the Dec. 14 shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn., prompted him to call for new gun laws — shows little sign of abating.

December set a record for the criminal background checks performed before many gun purchases, a strong indication of a big increase in sales, according to an analysis of federal data by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry trade group. Adjusting the federal data to try to weed out background checks that were unrelated to firearms sales, the group reported that 2.2 million background checks were performed last month, an increase of 58.6 percent over the same period in 2011. Some gun dealers said in interviews that they had never seen such demand.

I doubt these people are part of the 38%.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The increase in sales must stick in Obama’s craw.

Liam on January 14, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Key phrase
Trying to look busy

cmsinaz on January 14, 2013 at 8:42 AM

The increase in sales must stick in Obama’s craw.

Liam on January 14, 2013 at 8:41 AM

I don’t think it does, actually.

I think Obama will point to the massive spike in gun sales to prove America as a whole is more concerned with delivering their own justice instead of using the court system. He’ll say it proves we’re preparing to use force to oppose him. The media will agree.

Then, the government’s official position is: the people are preparing to violently overthrow the government, therefore, the government must take pre-emptive action by confiscating guns and removing the threat.

Washington Nearsider on January 14, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Who is the best gun salesman the world has ever known?

Barack Hussein Kardashian Obama!

petefrt on January 14, 2013 at 8:45 AM

A third of the country? That takes care of the felons, and the pure Marxists, but what about decent law-abiding God-fearing Americans?

Don L on January 14, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Then, the government’s official position is: the people are preparing to violently overthrow the government, therefore, the government must take pre-emptive action by confiscating guns and removing the threat.

Washington Nearsider on January 14, 2013 at 8:44 AM

And the answer is a simple copy of the Declaration of independence with that bit about Nature’s God being the only source of our rights underlined in red!

Don L on January 14, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Washington Nearsider on January 14, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Ten will get you twenty that a lot of the key dem leaders have stock in weapons and ammo. Feinstein makes a comment about legislation and sales spike. I wish I had that kind of clout on any one market.

hawkdriver on January 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

We need to get on the offensive on this, and fast. Gun rights are under assault and we cannot depend on establishment RINOs to hold the line in the Congress if public sentiment shifts any more than it has.

The key is to push the idea that these laws are ineffective and just distract us from dealing with the “real issue” of mental health policy. I have argued this issue with liberals and they are incapable of refuting the argument. All they say in response is “you don’t need a machine gun with high magazine clip capacities to hunt rabbits” and then sputter about how these laws are “for the children.” That type of rank hysteria doesn’t play well in Peoria.

Another point to argue is existing gun regulation. About the same number of people die each year in drunk driving car accidents as are murdered by guns. Yet drunk driving is a misdemeanor that rarely results in a revocation of driving privileges–and, if a drunk is caught driving under s uspension, that’s a misdemeanor, too. In contrast, any person convicted of any felony or several misdemeanor crimes permanently loses the right to have a gun, and such a person who gets a gun anyway can be sent to federal and state prison.

Outlander on January 14, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Well lets take a look at wether the inconvenience put on us of wait periods and stricked C&C requirements is really worth it and lets get them eased up on. Why should I wait a week to complete a handgun purchase when some 11 year old punk can get one on the street in 20 minutes?

johnnyU on January 14, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Washington Nearsider on January 14, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I don’t think Obama has the guts to try pushing that, and certainly no evidence to support it. Even a narcissist’s ego can take him just so far. But I can picture Reid trying to push such a thing, since he’s a crackpot who keeps getting loopier every time he opens his mouth.

Liam on January 14, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Just use your imagination and mull over the blowback if King Hussein decrees by EO to take up all registered firearms, ala post-Katrina in New Orleans, when law enforcement officers were ordered to bust in and confiscate.

Think of the domino effect that would cause.

tru2tx on January 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM

And how does changing the mental health reporting requirements rate?

……………….crickets………………………

GarandFan on January 14, 2013 at 9:03 AM

One of the most treacherous ideas is the national database on gun owners. As Mark Levin said a few days ago:

Anyway, so they may do by executive fiat — I’m trying to read between the lines — a national gun database. Now, why would we need a national gun database? Well, listen, we need to know who has the weapons, at all times, and how many weapons they have and what weapons they have. How come? Why? The guy that killed all those people in Newtown, Connecticut, we know who he was and we know who had the weapons, his mother. So what does this national database have to do with anything? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Oh, okay, but we need one anyway, right? To prevent what exactly? To prevent what? (Mark Levin Show, January 10, 2013. H/T Real Claer Politics)

petefrt on January 14, 2013 at 9:03 AM

The increase in sales must stick in Obama’s craw.

Liam on January 14, 2013 at 8:41 AM

I don’t know why it would. He’s cinched gun “Salesman of the Year” for the fourth consequtive year.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2013 at 9:04 AM

The libs don’t see mental health as a problem related to guns or getting guns. This is something they took care of a long time ago. They are too emotional and compassionate to ever take away the right of those with mental defects to not be locked away where they might get some help with their illness.

Kissmygrits on January 14, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Ammunition sales are another strawman anti-gun forces favor. The types of restrictions and measures being discussed are essentially a backdoor means of identifying legal guns owners. As is the ridiculous inclusion of private sales.

Any measure to make a database of all guns owners allows the government to fully identify those people. Look at history and discover where that’s been accomplished before and how it was used to disarm a populace. Most of those instances haven’t ended well.

Either way, what is the purpose of tracking private sales and ammunition? How will that prevent the next tragedy? How will it stop the illegal activity (already “illegal” under current law) which is responsible for most gun related crimes?

The answer is none of these measures will. It is simply the anti-gun lobby standing on the backs of murdered children to push the same agenda they have wanted for years.

Despicable.

Marcus Traianus on January 14, 2013 at 9:07 AM

I don’t know why it would. He’s cinched gun “Salesman of the Year” for the fourth consequtive year.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Liberals are masters with the Law of Unintended Consequences. This time, though, it works for the side of liberty.

Liam on January 14, 2013 at 9:08 AM

A third of the country? That takes care of the felons, and the pure Marxists, but what about decent law-abiding God-fearing Americans?

Don L on January 14, 2013 at 8:47 AM

This is what ticks me off the most. Any of these proposals target the vast majority of honest and responsible gun owners. It does nothing to stop the violence one finds on the street of “gun free” Chicago or any other place where Obama is supported universally.

Show me how any of these proposals changes the dynamic other than to demonize legitimate gun owners while ignoring the guys with guns that look just like our rat-eared wonder.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2013 at 9:08 AM

The libs don’t see mental health as a problem related to guns or getting guns. This is something they took care of a long time ago. They are too emotional and compassionate to ever take away the right of those with mental defects to not be locked away where they might get some help with their illness.

Kissmygrits on January 14, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Liberalism IS a mental disorder. That isn’t just the title of a book, it is a fact.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Ten will get you twenty that a lot of the key dem leaders have stock in weapons and ammo. Feinstein makes a comment about legislation and sales spike. I wish I had that kind of clout on any one market.

hawkdriver on January 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Feinstein used to brag about how she carried. It was a large part of her campaign a few years back.

John Edwards was half-right. There are two Americas.

Washington Nearsider on January 14, 2013 at 9:14 AM

It is past time to legalize fully automatic weapons…gun laws need to change!

trs on January 14, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Meanwhile, the truth about all of these options is that none of them would have stopped the shooting anyway.

BUT DO SOMETHING!@!!!11!!!!1 START BY DISARMING YOUR LAW-ABIDING NEIGHBORS!@41!!!!!!!1!!!one1!!!1

Good Lt on January 14, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Then, the government’s official position is: the people are preparing to violently overthrow the government, therefore, the government must take pre-emptive action by confiscating guns and removing the threat.

Washington Nearsider on January 14, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Then the confiscation starts, the American people fight back and the government is overthrown.

This is the snake eating its own tail.

Bishop on January 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM

I wonder how the numbers might have changed now that Schumer wants gun shops to stop selling certain firearms, and Piers Morgan thinks it’s crazy to oppose Obama on this because the US military can always nuke us.

These liberals in high places are truly crazy, and it comes out when they get desperate to change minds to their way of thinking (and I use that last term loosely).

Liam on January 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Can’t database me since I am no longer a gun owner.

Bishop on January 14, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Then the confiscation starts, the American people fight back and the government is overthrown.

This is the snake eating its own tail.

Bishop on January 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM

You’re forgetting the part about millions dying.

Cleombrotus on January 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM

And while the dissatisfaction with current gun laws jumped 13 points, it’s still less than 40%

Count me among the 40% — I’m dissatisfied with “gun-free zones.”

rbj on January 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Ed, you and other gun supporters keep on saying gun laws don’t work and point to Connecticut’s gun laws not preventing this massacre

so did the guy get his guns in Connecticut? or did he get his guns with less stringent gun laws? thanks for being dishonest

nonpartisan on January 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Gallup’s latest survey shows the highest percentage of dissatisfaction in a dozen years with current gun laws by those who want them toughened, but it’s still only a little more than a third of the country:

… the minority rules!

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2013 at 9:43 AM

nonpartisan on January 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Are you talking about Lanza? He got his weapons from his mother’s home. She should have keep them secured from him, but WTH are you talking about with Ed’s column? And our comments on CN gun laws …

In fact, don’t answer. You’re point was so stupid, I feel more stupid for even addressing it.

hawkdriver on January 14, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Ed, you and other gun supporters keep on saying gun laws don’t work and point to Connecticut’s gun laws not preventing this massacre

so did the guy get his guns in Connecticut? or did he get his guns with less stringent gun laws? thanks for being dishonest

nonpartisan on January 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM

…you might want to become a little anal retentive…and ask the boys mother!
…oh wait!

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2013 at 9:48 AM

In fact, don’t answer. You’re point was so stupid, I feel more stupid for even addressing it.

hawkdriver on January 14, 2013 at 9:46 AM

…sorry!…I didn’t see your comment when I posted…was distracted at work…
I too feel like I was having a brain fart just answering the skid-marked fool…

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Ed, you and other gun supporters keep on saying gun laws don’t work and point to Connecticut’s gun laws not preventing this massacre

so did the guy get his guns in Connecticut? or did he get his guns with less stringent gun laws? thanks for being dishonest

nonpartisan on January 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Mental disorders are no joke. Is there a loved one in your life that can help you?

tom daschle concerned on January 14, 2013 at 9:54 AM

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2013 at 9:53 AM

No es nada.

hawkdriver on January 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

So let me get this straight… 38% want stricter laws? and that is the basis of a mandate??? Doesn’t this poll also say that 62% DON’T WANT STRICTER LAWS??? Big Brother said it best…, 2+2=5. You’ll believe whatever I tell you to believe.

RedManBlueState on January 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Gun control laws that nibble away at the 2nd Amendment aren’t going to solve anything except grant greater control over the populace by the Marxists of which they are well aware.

In most of the more recent massacres, each perpetrator was under the care of a psychiatrist/psychologist in whom they confided and red flags were raised to the doctors in each case. The sacrosanct doctor/patient code of silence is what is at fault. Had these people notified the proper authorities that in their estimation, these people were or would soon become violent maybe something could have been done. But before that can happen, the so-called “feel good” nanny state laws the left has foisted on society will have to be changed. Too bad if the killer’s self-esteem might be hurt if he’s committed.

These are the type laws that need to be changed, not new gun laws that have been proven not to work. I don’t care if they try to buy a gun or machete or even stand on a subway platform waiting to push someone in front of a train, the need to wait for a weapons purchase background check when purchasing a gun is not the answer. They’ll find away to get the weapon of their choice some other way.

We don’t have a gun problem. We have a heart problem where much of the blame can be placed on the left wing world views over the past 50 or so years that have encouraged this kind of behavior. Look at our judicial system and the enforcement of our laws where the victim ends up being punished more than the criminal because of a plethora of laws that protect them on the flimsiest of technicalities. Take the current case of the Aurora Colorado movie theater massacre. There is no question he was the one who killed all of those people. I don’t care what his rationale was. This is a cut and dry case and the scumbag should be lined up against the wall and shot after the 10 minute trial. Any other time wasted is being spent on trying to get him released based on the parsing of simple words as to what the “law” really says. The same goes for the Fort Hood Islamist killer. Another one who should have been executed within days of the incident.

iamsaved on January 14, 2013 at 10:08 AM

In most of the more recent massacres, each perpetrator was under the care of a psychiatrist/psychologist in whom they confided and red flags were raised to the doctors in each case.

Why do I find that curious?

Cleombrotus on January 14, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Thanks for being dishonest

nonpartisan on January 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Actually he stole them which is against the law.FO.

CW on January 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Low/No information voters.

newpine on January 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

The key is to push the idea that these laws are ineffective and just distract us from dealing with the “real issue” of mental health policy. I have argued this issue with liberals and they are incapable of refuting the argument.
Another point to argue is existing gun regulation.

Outlander on January 14, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Yep…those are the points that I have found to be the most convincing too. Potentially anyway. But be prepared, those are the hot buttons in a discussion with any liberal in favor of more gun-control. That’s when the personal attacks and name-calling might start too.

lynncgb on January 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

existing gun regulation.

Outlander on January 14, 2013 at 8:54 AM

But laws make us feel better whether they are effective or not.

CW on January 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I’m glad to live in an Open Carry State.

I do wish that the State would abolish the rigmarole on CCW to make it the same as Open Carry.

So, yeah, I’m in that 5%.

The current laws are asinine.

Plus the venue of ‘antique’ for firearms doesn’t shift because of the damn federal government, while it does for every other single object. For all those pushing for making gun laws more like car laws, be warned that includes the antique designation rising up a few decades and having swaths of firearms disappearing off of what needs a background check to sell.

ajacksonian on January 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

They’ll just keep polling until they have the numbers that will scare Republican politicians into betraying the Constitution. Chart the progress of their hyper polling and you’ll see what I mean. I give it 6 months till the rinos have “polling cover” to move on the issue.

Buddahpundit on January 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

These findings are based on two questions in Gallup’s annual Mood of the Nation survey, conducted Jan. 7-10. The first asks respondents if they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the nation’s laws or policies on guns. Those saying they are dissatisfied are asked a follow-up question to determine whether they think the laws should be made more strict, made less strict, or kept as they are. As a result, the 38% who are dissatisfied and want stricter gun laws indicates not only a preference for stricter gun laws but a certain amount of intensity of feeling on the subject.

Gallup

.
I’ve got a question I’d like Gallup to take a poll on:

“Do you believe Americans on average can be more disciplined in their personal habits and/or character traits?”

.

listens2glenn on January 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Had these people notified the proper authorities that in their estimation, these people were or would soon become violent maybe something could have been done.

iamsaved on January 14, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Actually, the psych for the Aurora shooter tried to tell someone. I believe the paperwork was still being processed when the shooter acted.

GWB on January 14, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Then the confiscation starts, the American people fight back and the government is overthrown.

This is the snake eating its own tail.

Bishop on January 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM

You wish.

This population will not fight back.

The confiscators in the Katrina aftermath had no issues whatsoever taking those guns away from their lawful owners. Has anyone paid a price for this violation of the Constitution? Anyone? At? All?

runawayyyy on January 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Bishop on January 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM

.
You wish.

This population will not fight back.

The confiscators in the Katrina aftermath had no issues whatsoever taking those guns away from their lawful owners. Has anyone paid a price for this violation of the Constitution? Anyone? At? All?

runawayyyy on January 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM

.
That “explanation” don’t fly. Katrina victims were already in a state of shock, and then were “blindsided completely unaware”, by the authorities doing the confiscating.

Gun owners are now on full “Red Alert”.

listens2glenn on January 15, 2013 at 1:11 AM