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‘Party Affiliation’ Plays Heavily on Attitudes About Guns, Says SAF

Political affiliation is a major influence on how people feel about Second Amendment rights.(Dave Workman)

Responding to the results of a new Quinnipiac University poll on gun regulation, the Second Amendment Foundation noticed a trend in which Democrats heavily support stricter gun laws, while Republicans are not so inclined.

“Quinnipiac found that Democrats by a 91-8 margin want stricter gun laws,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “while Republicans by a 64-32 percent margin oppose stricter laws. Party affiliation clearly is a factor in whether one is guided by a knee-jerk dislike for firearms, or by common sense and rational analysis.”

The poll results show the lowest public support on record for a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

Support for a ban has fallen to 50 percent, while 45 percent oppose it, and according to the survey, “This is the lowest level of support among registered voters for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons since February 2013 when the question was first asked by the Quinnipiac University Poll.” Four years ago, 67 percent supported a ban and 29 percent opposed the idea, SAF said in a news release.

“Increasing numbers of people realize there is far more to this dilemma than firearms,” Gottlieb observed. “For example, the same Quinnipiac poll shows a 40 percent plurality of voters think the real problem is rooted in mental health issues, more than twice the 19 percent who think the availability of firearms is at the core of the current crime spike.”

The veteran gun rights advocate pointed to data in the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report, showing consistently year-to-year that a fraction of all the gun-related homicides involve rifles of any kind. This includes all types of rifles, including semi-autos, lever-actions, bolt-actions and even single-shots.

“Only 2 to 4 percent of all murders are committed with rifles,” he said, “so this push to demonize and ban an entire class of rifles is not simply wrong, it borders on being delusional, and it is certainly dishonest.”

Semiautomatic rifles have been in commercial circulation for more than a century, in one form or another. They all function basically the same. One press of the trigger discharges a single shot, after which the spent shell casing is ejected and a fresh round is automatically pushed into the chamber. They are not machine guns nor are they “weapons of war” as the gun prohibition lobby has chosen to portray them in recent months.

Another revelation in the Quinnipiac Poll is that “41 percent of Americans think the United States should pursue limiting the number of guns in the country, 55 percent do not think so.”

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