When pollsters asked people three decades ago how they felt about the National Rifle Association, 27% said they strongly supported the gun lobby. By last month, that share had grown 38%, an 11-point increase. Meanwhile, the share that didn’t side with the NRA declined.

By an 8-point, registered voters in the Journal/NBC survey last month said they were more concerned that the government would go too far in restricting gun rights than that it fail to do enough to regulate access to firearms. When adults were asked the same question in 1995, the greater fear was that access to firearms was too widespread.

In July polling, the Journal/NBC survey found that 43% of the public had a positive image of the NRA and 32% a negative one—a more favorable view than the public held of the Supreme Court or either political party. By a 15-point margin, political independents, also viewed the NRA more positively than negatively.

– From the Wall Street Journal article: Rising Support for NRA Stymies Obama

Love guns or hate guns, one thing is becoming perfectly clear. The American public’s perception of guns and the NRA is moving in the exact opposite direction of Barack Obama’s message and agenda.

To hear Obama speak, you’d think the NRA is simply using boatloads of money and propaganda to thwart the impassioned gun control desires of the American public. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. First, let’s take a look at some powerful charts from the Wall Street Journal.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 11.14.57 AM

As you can clearly see, the numbers regarding NRA support have virtually flipped over the past thirty years. This is also consistent with a recent ABC News poll which showed for the first time that a majority of American are against an assault weapons ban. From the post, A Majority of Americans Oppose “Assault Weapons Ban” – Highest Number on Record:

A majority of Americans oppose banning assault weapons for the first time in more than 20 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls, with the public expressing vast doubt that the authorities can prevent “lone wolf” terrorist attacks and a substantial sense that armed citizens can help.

Indeed, while the division is a close one, Americans by 47-42 percent think that encouraging more people to carry guns legally is a better response to terrorism than enacting stricter gun control laws. Divisions across groups are vast, underscoring the nation’s gulf on gun issues.

Now here’s another chart from the same Wall Street Journal article, which is even more compelling.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.34.53 AM

Although Democrats hate the NRA (the same group that supports Hillary for President despite admitting she’s untrustworthy), Independents show strong support. Why is this important? Because according to a recent Gallup poll, a record 43% of Americans identify as Independents.

From Gallup:

PRINCETON, N.J. — An average 43% of Americans identified politically as independents in 2014, establishing a new high in Gallup telephone poll trends back to 1988. In terms of national identification with the two major parties, Democrats continued to hold a modest edge over Republicans, 30% to 26%.

Since 2008, the percentage of political independents — those who identify as such before their leanings to the two major parties are taken into account — has steadily climbed from 35% to the current 43%,exceeding 40% each of the last four years. Prior to 2011, the high in independent identification was 39% in 1995 and 1999.

The recent rise in political independence has come at the expense of both parties, but more among Democrats than among Republicans.Over the last six years, Democratic identification has fallen from 36% — the highest in the last 25 years — to 30%. Meanwhile, Republican identification is down from 28% in 2008 to 26% last year.

Now here’s the chart. There’s a well defined bull market in Independent-identifying Americans:

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.58.42 AM

Finally, let’s end this post with some excerpts from the Wall Street Journal article from which the previously highlighted charts were pulled:

When pollsters asked people three decades ago how they felt about the National Rifle Association, 27% said they strongly supported the gun lobby. By last month, that share had grown 38%, an 11-point increase. Meanwhile, the share that didn’t side with the NRA declined.

That is just one measure of the challenge that has forced President Barack Obama to sidestep Congress and put in place new gun regulations through executive action. Mr. Obama knows through hard experience that lawmakers have little appetite for passing tougher gun laws. Polling shows that skepticism is rooted among the broader public, as well.

So there you go. King Obama sees political trends he doesn’t like, knows that Congress can’t do anything about it because the public doesn’t want it to, so he does it by himself by executive decree.

As I noted on Twitter the other day:

Now back to the WSJ:

By an 8-point, registered voters in the Journal/NBC survey last month said they were more concerned that the government would go too far in restricting gun rights than that it fail to do enough to regulate access to firearms. When adults were asked the same question in 1995, the greater fear was that access to firearms was too widespread.

But as Mr. Obama seeks any small patch of common ground, one of the most powerful forces he must deal with is skepticism of any new laws—even the widely backed expansion of background checks. A majority in Gallup polling said background checks would have little or no effect in reducing mass shootings. And a majority believed the country would be safer if more people carried concealed weapons—a finding in tune with the NRA’s contention that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.’’

While support for the NRA skews Republican, it is not exclusively Republican. Some 41% of political independents rate themselves as highly supportive of the gun lobby, more than twice the share that doesn’t support the group, December’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey found.

In July polling, the Journal/NBC survey found that 43% of the public had a positive image of the NRA and 32% a negative one—a more favorable view than the public held of the Supreme Court or either political party. By a 15-point margin, political independents, also viewed the NRA more positively than negatively.

“The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage,’’ Mr. Obama said in announcing his new gun regulations. But in going up against the NRA, he is working against a force that is not only powerful but popular among many in the country.

Substitute “the American public” for “the gun lobby,” and you’ll find out what’s really irking King Barry.

For related articles, see:

New Gallup Poll – Americans Consider Government a Much Bigger Problem than Guns

A Majority of Americans Oppose “Assault Weapons Ban” – Highest Number on Record

How Obama is Using the Grossly Unconstitutional “No Fly List” to Push Gun Control

How to Spot a Hypocrite in the Gun Debate and Other Reflections on Newtown

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Calls Colorado a “Rural and Roadless” Backwater for Challenging his Gun Control Agenda

ACLU: Gun Control Bill Threatens Privacy Rights and Civil Liberties

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger


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