Since the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, Americans’ desire for their Second Amendment rights show no signs of weakening. President Obama ignored a change in gun policy in his State of the Union speech, but the White House promised on January 27 that Obama would unveil a push for more gun control in the coming weeks. This push for more gun control from the White House has yet to happen.
A poll conducted by Zogby International just ten days after the President’s State of the Union speech shows that, if anything, voters have become more supportive of their Second Amendment rights. The poll surveyed 10,000 likely voters and was commissioned by ATI-News and The O’Leary Report.
For polling purposes, all 10,000 voters were divided into three camps: 1) Red states that did not vote for Obama in 2008 and are unlikely to do so in 2012; 2) Blue states that did not vote for McCain in 2008 and are unlikely to vote GOP in 2012; and 3) The following battleground “Green” states that could go either way in 2012: FL, IN, IA, MI, MO, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI.
Voters were asked: “Please tell us if gun laws in America are adequate, too harsh, or too lenient for law-abiding citizens.”
An overwhelming 75% of voters think that gun laws are either adequate or too harsh for law-abiding citizens (33% think gun laws are too harsh). Also, 57% of Democratic voters consider gun laws to be adequate or too harsh, and only 36% think they’re too lenient.
Among the various state categories, 79% of Red state voters say gun laws are adequate or too harsh for law-abiding Americans, as do 77% of Green state voters and 70% of Blue state voters. Even 63% of voters who have never owned a gun agree that gun laws are either adequate or too harsh.
Voters were also asked if they support or oppose notifying citizens who have been placed on the federal “no-fly” list of their status and giving them an opportunity to challenge the listing, as a number of federal agencies are attempting to block those listed from purchasing or owning firearms.
Eighty-five percent of Red state voters support notifying citizens and giving them an opportunity to challenge and be removed from the “no-fly” list, as do 86% of Green and Blue state voters. Among Democratic voters, 84% support allowing citizens an opportunity to challenge a listing and be removed so that they may exercise their Second Amendment rights unimpeded by federal agencies. So do 83% of voters who have never owned a firearm.
In addition, 67% of Red state voters support federal legislation that would allow citizens with permits to legally carry firearms in the 39 states that have reciprocal agreements for concealed carry permits. A majority of Green state voters (61%) also support such legislation, as do 50% of Blue state voters.
A majority of voters nationwide (61%) also support changing the law in many states to allow people to use firearms inside and outside their homes in self-defense, without any stipulation that requires they first attempt to retreat from their attacker. In Red states, 62% of voters support such a change to the law, as do 64% of Green state voters and 53% of Blue state voters. A 46% plurality of voters who have never owned a firearm also support changing the law.
There’s more bad news for the President on the Supreme Court front. A 51% majority of all voters would support a Republican filibuster to block the appointment of a liberal justice who would alter the current balance of the Court. Note that the Supreme Court has recently issued a number of close 5-4 decisions, including upholding the individual right to own a firearm. Among Red state voters, 59% would support a filibuster of a liberal appointee to the Court, as would 56% of Green state voters. Only in Blue states do we see opposition for a filibuster, and it’s tepid at best, 47% would oppose it while 44% would support it. Only 34% of Red state voters and 35% of Green state voters would oppose a filibuster.
While the Brady Campaign and other far-left interest groups are chomping at the bit for the President to restrict the rights of gun owners, the fact is they are peddling overwhelmingly unpopular policies. No doubt the Obama administration is keenly aware that any new gun control laws would further sink the President’s approval rating, as well as Democrats’ chances in the next election. The trouble for Obama is that he needs to appease his far-left base on this issue, and he may not be able to hold them off through 2012.