Poll: Majority of gun owners feel safer with gun in home

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A new Rasmussen survey reveals that a majority of gun owners feel safer because they have a firearm in the home, while only six percent feel less safe and 36 percent say the gun makes no difference.

A majority of American gun owners say they feel safer with a gun in the home. (Dave Workman)

The survey found that 58 percent of gun owners think having a gun in the home makes them feel safer. However, that number suggests a downward trend because an earlier poll found that 63 percent of American gun owners felt safer when the survey was taken in 2015.

There are some other revealing numbers in the survey, which comes at a time that gun rights are once again under attack in the wake of mass shootings and mounting pressure by Democrats to add additional restrictions. According to Rasmussen, “Whites are more likely to have a gun in their household than blacks and other minority Americans. But 63% of other minorities feel safer because of the gun, compared to 58% of whites and 52% of blacks.”

Another revelation that really isn’t surprising is that 51 percent of Republicans have a gun in the home while only 31 percent of Democrats admit to having a gun. Thirty-six percent of independents have guns in the home.

The survey was conducted among 1,000 American adults Aug. 8 and 11 with a margin of error of +/- three percentage points.

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Among Democrats, only 45 percent feel safer with a gun in the home while 58 percent of independent gun owners feel safer.

One lingering problem relating to firearms ownership is that only 18 percent of Americans trust the federal government to fairly enforce gun laws, Rasmussen said. In a survey taken late last year, Rasmussen found that 48 percent of American adults favor a mandatory federal license for owning guns, and 39 percent are opposed. Licensing of gun owners was more popular among Democrats (67%) than Republicans (32%) and independents (42%).

But now comes the dilemma. If some gun owners feel less safe, why do they own a firearm at all? And if Democrats who own guns vote for Democrat politicians who want to restrict gun ownership, how does that make any sense?

Rasmussen found that people under age 40 are less likely to have a gun in the house than their elders. However, at the same time and even in the same sentence, Rasmussen said younger adults “feel safer about it.”

Guns are a hot, perhaps even toxic subject these days, and the nation appears to be getting tired of high-profile shooting incidents. But are such incidents more alarming than, say, the May 17, 1974 shootout in Los Angeles that resulted in the deaths of six members of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) including leader Donald DeFreeze. That was broadcast live, in the days long before there were cable news channels operating around the clock.

The gun control debate is gathering steam, and there is every likelihood that it is going to erupt when Congress returns next month following the August recess. The gun control crowd is preparing for battle, while gun owners may be lethargically preparing for the fall hunting season.

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