For years, the gun grabbing crowd has assured Americans that there is nothing less safe than a gun in the home, because your loved ones are likely to use it against you. Events in the past 12 years, however, have seen Americans revisit this so-called “fact.” A Washington Post/ABC News poll of 1,003 Americans conducted from April 11-14 reveals that 51% of Americans believe that having a gun in the house makes a home safer, not less safe. In contrast, only 29% believe that having a gun in the house makes a home less safe.
Gun owners feel especially secure knowing that they have a gun around. Seventy-five percent of them told pollsters that the gun made them safer in their homes. Even those who don’t have guns in their home don’t necessarily fear guns. Only 30% of non-gun owners believe that a gun in the house makes the house less safe. Unsurprisingly, conservatives, Republicans, and white men were more supportive of guns than were liberals, Democrats, and the over-educated.
These numbers are even more impressive when one considers that, in 2000, the reverse was true – 51% of Americans believed that a gun in the house made a home less safe, while only 35% believed that it made it more safe. Considering that the Left has never let up on its press for gun control, and that this poll was taken after the Sandy Hook frenzy but before the Boston bombing and the search for Dzhokar Tsarnaev, Americans’ new openness to guns is an interesting development.
There are many possible reasons behind the change. One might be the perpetual insecurity that arose in America following the 9/11 attacks. Before that day, we felt secure in Fortress America. Since then, we recognize our vulnerability.
Another reason might be the fact that people have realized that, in places such as Chicago and Washington, D.C., strict gun control not only meant that criminals were better armed, but also that law-abiding citizens were defenseless. In Washington, D.C., this depressing reality changed when the Supreme Court struck down D.C.’s restrictive gun laws. People also saw that gun crime didn’t skyrocket when, in 2004, the law banning magazines holding more than ten rounds finally expired.
The internet has made a difference, too. Witty, viral videos from gun manufacturers remind people that guns can be stored safely and used defensively. Likewise, YouTube channels that celebrate the wonders of firearms in a non-murderous fashion let people see a non-criminal side to guns.
Regardless of the reason, those of us who believe in the Second Amendment’s promise that citizens have an absolute right to bear arms, to protect them from both enemies and their own government, are grateful. The growing numbers of Americans who understand that guns aren’t toys or sex symbols but are, instead, important tools for safety and freedom may help explain why the poll also showed that 49% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s relentless press for gun control, while only 45% believe in what he’s doing. No wonder the Senate gun control bills failed. Thankfully, Pelosi might be off the mark when she predicts that gun control is “inevitable” because, she says, the American people want it.