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September 30, 2015

Anti-Gun Politicians Achieve the Opposite of What they Seek


A recent Gallup Poll found that a staggering 49 percent of Americans consider the federal government to be an “immediate threat,” up almost 20 percent since 2003.  With countless example of federal overreach that can be found in the current policies and proposals of our federal government, along with a few of our state administrations, it is no surprise that roughly half of the populace feels that their rights and freedoms are in jeopardy.

Gallup Poll graph

Notably, the most frequently mentioned specific threats involve gun-control laws and violations of the Second Amendment, which helps explain the continuing strength in gun sales in America.  Gallup explained the survey findings this way:

“Overall, Americans who agree that the government is an immediate threat tend to respond with very general complaints echoing the theme that the federal government is too big and too powerful, and that it has too many laws. They also cite nonspecific allegations that the government violates freedoms and civil liberties, and that there is too much government in people’s private lives. The most frequently mentioned specific threats involve gun control laws and violations of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, mentioned by 12 percent who perceive the government to be an immediate threat.”

Law-abiding Americans own firearms for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to protect themselves, their families, their property, and others around them when threatened with deadly force. Unfortunately, many in the mainstream media chose to portray these Americans as radical individuals prone to violence.

Of course, the very writers and producers that stigmatize their fellow citizens for exercising their right to bear arms would not stand for their constitutional right to the exercise of free speech, guaranteed by the same Bill of Rights to our Constitution, to be questioned, let alone infringed upon, in any way.

Nor would we want that.

But when about half of Americans feel that their freedoms and civil liberties are being threatened, there is good reason to stop and think.  It should give pause to the most strident gun control advocates, including a raft of elected officials across the country, some members of Congress and, of course, outspoken former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the paid staffers of the largely astro-turf groups that he funds.

When politicians respond reflexively to tragedy, well before knowing the facts, with knee-jerk calls for more gun control laws, they seem to bring about the opposite of what they say they seek. For certain, they re-polarize the issue.  A large portion of the American public has clearly come to understand that the return of dog-earned talking points and dusted-off policy prescriptions would do nothing to prevent such tragedies.

So when politicians re-issue their altogether predictable nostrums, Americans increasingly vote with their wallets to make sure that they exercise their Constitutional rights while they feel they still can.   This means that they value their liberty.

Increasingly, they also seem to fear a government in which too many elected officials have lost touch with core beliefs, or who feel that too many of their elected officials ignore them and only serve the narrow constituencies they know for sure will vote for them.

The American people know that is not governance.