A new Elway Poll shows a significant divide between urban and rural Washington State residents on the subject of gun control versus gun rights, an imbalance that might concern gun owners with Democrats now in full control in Olympia.
According to Elway, 62 percent of people living in districts that were won by Hillary Rodham Clinton last fall “favored controlling gun violence over protecting gun owners’ rights.” However, in districts won by Donald Trump, “54 percent prioritized protecting gun owners’ rights over controlling gun violence.”
In theory, this might be a rough reflection on how the gun issue boils down on the national level. Those districts represented by Democrats lean liberal, those districts represented by Republicans lean conservative.
Already Democrats are talking about more gun control. In the Evergreen State, liberal Attorney General Bob Ferguson will again push for a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” even though statistically, guns identified as such are used in a faction of the firearm-related homicides.
How the public views guns seems to be all over the political landscape, however, as assorted Rasmussen surveys have revealed over the past few years.
Following the Las Vegas rampage, more likely voters saw a need for tougher gun regulations, but weren’t sure if new laws would work. Another survey done by Rasmussen revealed that only 28 percent trust the federal government to fairly enforce gun control laws.
In April of this year, more Rasmussen survey respondents said it was now too easy to get a gun. But another Rasmussen poll found that more Americans actually prefer living in neighborhoods where gun owners are present.
Translation: Many Americans seem to have this like-dislike relationship to firearms. Gun owners specifically do not seem to be quite as fickle about the Second Amendment as non-gun owners, but various surveys do show considerable support among gun owners for background checks.
Gun bans and even magazine limits do not seem to get any traction with gun owners, but they resonate with non-owners.
The Democrat-controlled King County Council recently budgeted more than $600,000 to enforce domestic violence restraining orders that require surrender of firearms to police. According to KING5 News, the Seattle NBC affiliate, Council Chairman Joe McDermott asserted that in many cases, firearms are not being surrendered and people subject to protection orders deny that the guns even exist.
Washington liberals have been pushing increasingly restrictive gun control laws for the past several years. But urban liberals may collide with rural values when the Legislature convenes in January.