New polling shows that President Obama and the Democrats — not Second Amendment rights groups — are the No. 1 reason gun control has become, in the words of Obama himself, “one of our most polarized, partisan debates.”
The latest Pew Research poll released Thursday shows 43 percent think the GOP can do a better job of reflecting their views “about gun control,” compared with 37 percent who said the Democratic Party would do better. A new Journal/NBC poll, conducted in late December, showed that 41 percent of registered independents rated themselves highly supportive of the National Rifle Association — more than double the number who didn’t support the group.
Obama has become the greatest salesman of guns in the history of America. Sales hit record numbers each month for the last half of 2015, and the year set a record as well. What’s more, there is far more consensus on gun rights than Obama says there is — and that’s because the consensus is often contrary to Obama’s stance. The crux: Americans just don’t believe Obama, who wept openly as he detailed his plan to go after their guns.
As for the changes Obama announced on Tuesday, less than half say the executive actions will be effective at reducing gun-related deaths, and most say they oppose the way Obama made the changes. “Almost 6 in 10 say these measures will not be effective in reducing the number of gun-related deaths in the United States. That sentiment is particularly strong among gun owners, 75 (percent) of whom say they doubt the changes will reduce gun deaths,” CNN reported.
The NRA is far more popular with Americans than Obama’s proposed gun control measures, the polls found — and that’s been true for a while. In July, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey showed that 43 percent of the public had a favorable view of the NRA, compared to 32 percent who had a negative view of the organization. It might be easy to think this is pure partisanship, but independents who took part in that survey viewed the NRA more positively than negatively by a 15-point margin.
Indeed, a Pew poll conducted in July showed that only 40 percent of Americans — mostly Democrats — thought the NRA had too much influence in American politics, compared to 53 percent who felt the NRA had the right amount of, or not enough, influence.
The president constantly likes to remind us that a majority of Americans support expanded background checks. However ,by an 8-point margin, registered voters polled said they were more concerned about the government going too far in restricting gun rights than they were with it not doing enough to regulate access to firearms. The same poll revealed a majority of Americans believed the Democratic Party’s position on guns to be outside the mainstream.
This is the true impediment to a sensible, national conversation about gun control. It isn’t the gun lobby holding Congress hostage, but rabidly anti-gun liberals who make tragedies into political theater, divide the nation, and force both sides to dig in their heels.
A majority of Americans do indeed believe in universal background checks. But, according to an October Gallup poll, a majority of Americans also recognize that background checks would have little or no effect in reducing mass shootings. So when the president and the Democrats insist hysterically that we must institute universal background checks to reduce mass shootings, the American people smell a rat.
Obama consistently claims that a majority of Americans agree with him about gun control, but that because of the nefarious influence of the NRA, Congress is unable to get legislation passed despite the people’s wishes.
“The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage,” Obama said when announcing his executive actions on gun control.
But it’s really the American people rejecting Obama’s gun agenda, just as these latest polls show.