One Year After Newtown, Americans Not Interested in Gun Control

AR-15TheAlphaWolfDecember 14 is the anniversary of the horrendous Newtown shooting, but despite the best efforts of opportunistic politicians, Americans show little sympathy for proposals to tighten restrictions on guns. In fact, firearms don't even appear on their list of concerns when asked what worries them by Reason-Rupe pollsters, although big government and politicians do. And when asked directly about tightening gun laws, people say that would have no impact on criminals' access to guns—a logical position to take, since nothing that's been proposed so far would have prevented Newtown shooter Adam Lanza from doing what he did.

Americans worry about a lot of things in an age of sluggish economic "recovery" and government incompetence put on display like an object lesson in stupid policy, poorly enacted. Asked an open-ended question about the "biggest problem facing the country today," people volunteered jobs/wages, worries about Congress, and social disunity, and nervousness over big government and the Obama administration. Two percent each even said that immigration and Republicans under the bed keep them awake at night. Any volunteeered concerns about guns in their neighbors' closets came in at too low a level to be recorded.

Which is not shocking at a time when homicides committed with firearms have been on a long-term downward trend, despite all-too-terrible incidents like Newtown.

Maybe that's because people understand that restrictive laws aren't the answer to every horrible headline. Sixty-three percent of poll respondents told us that tighter gun restrictions aren't going to stand between criminals and access to firearms. They certainly wouldn't have stopped Lanza, who used guns purchased by his mother, a squeaky clean citizen who bought her guns legally after passing background checks. And in case there are any questions about the past year's most popular gun to hate, Greg Ridgeway, the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice, says that bans on "assault weapon" and "high-capacity magazines" are totally pointless. Add in the fact that 80 percent of criminals get their guns from "family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source" according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and it's clear that Americans display more wisdom than the average politican.

It's not just the pool of folks answering Reason-Rupe's questions, either. An AP poll also conducted as the Newtown anniversary approaches found declining support for tightened gun restrictions, with half of respondents flat-out saying "laws limiting gun ownership infringe on the public’s right to bear arms."

What might have helped prevent the Newtown shooting? A plurality (27 percent) favors better "mental health services," which has evolved into something of a default policy go-to in recent months for people looking for solutions. Mental health services might or might not help, depending on what people mean by "better" (pre-emptive detention for folks with the blues?). And while Adam Lanza had known mental health problems, nobody saw any warning signs to indicate he was about to go off the deep end.

Still, people do want to "do something," which might explain why Americans tell Reason-Rupe they're even willing to attempt the objectively unwise (arm TSA agents so they have something to wave around while they're groping you) and the overtly impossible (ban the 3D printing of guns). Anybody concerned that air travel is too popular might find giving TSA agents the arms to back their attitudes is an excellent way to trim the number of trips. And 3D printing of firearms was explicitly designed to be beyond the reach of goverment officials.

The Newtown shooting was a horrible crime. It was also a thankfully rare incident in an era of declining gun-related homicides, despite the headlines. One year later, Americans seem to understand that, and to largely reject authoritarian, knee-jerk responses.

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  • John||

    It must be killing the Progs to see all of those beautiful dead children go to waste.

  • ||

    It must be like a wino seeing a bottle of Thunderbird get knocked over and spill down a drain. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • Almanian!||

    nice!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I was prop master on a music video for Ja Rule. We were on location in a bar in Hollywood, but Ja Rule didn't want the usual bottle of Hennessey for the shot. No, he wanted a bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII.

    So, I go to the liquor store next door, and plunk down $2,300 for a bottle. I give the bottle to Ja Rule, and we start filming the shot. First shot, Ja Rule drops the bottle. It shatters on the concrete floors.

    So, 2 minutes later, I walk back into the same liquor store, and buy a second bottle.

  • ||

    Did you take a few swigs before you handed it to butterfingers this time?

  • fish||

    Speaking as one who one time was given the opportunity to try the Louis.....you should have shot him for his carelessness!

    I bet you made the liquor store owners week though!

  • fish||

    It must be killing the Progs to see all of those beautiful dead children go to waste.

    I think we should carry this sentence over to "Daily Kos" and "Huff Po" and let them try it on...see how it fits!

  • Muzzle of Bees||

    Also AddictingInfo and ThinkProgress. Then rank the levels of moral derprage.

  • John Galt||

    Well, they always have their preaching about how the evil, rich white men rape the environment and victimize all the good people. That always seems to give them a great deal of self satisfaction.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Legislation has consequences dept:

    Earlier this year, the Colorado Legislature passed bills restricting firearms use in response to a mass shooting in an Aurora movie theater. The laws prompted some Colorado gun companies to announce they’re leaving. Dan Furphy, president and CEO of the LEDC, said Ammo Kan executives felt that sentiment.

    “What happened in Colorado was pretty upsetting to a lot of these companies that are in the sporting goods area, particularly with hunters and shooters that do recreational shooting,” Furphy said in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

    The employees will be locally hired and range from entry-level positions to warehouse and distribution managers, Furphy said. The company’s executives told Furphy they are interested in using Wyoming Department of Workforce Services training grants to teach the Wyoming employees job skills.

    Urban Democrats shanghai state legislature, manufacturers unexpectedly leave.

  • Almanian!||

    But who could have foreseen this? TOTALLY unforeseeable.

    Also, probably RACIST.

    Plus, KOCHTOPUS!

    The End

  • Brett L||

    Obviously we just need capital controls in place at a federal level to prevent just this sort of undermining The Will of The People by these kulaks, wreckers, hoarders, and capitalists.

  • OneOut||

    The Feds are close to trying that out with Boeing being the test case.

  • Loki||

    "Good riddance to those EVUL PROFIT SEEKING MERCHENTZ OF DETH!!!11!!!!11!" /prog-derp

    Unfortunately, this is what brain dead denizens of the People's Republic of Boulder actually believe.

  • John Galt||

    Boulder ..bleh.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Same thing happened to New York. Aside from a mass of smaller business that ran off, AR-15.com had been investing millions in redeveloping a waste site to convert to a showroom (with rather impressive facilities) when the 'SAFE' act rolled around. Now they're trying to dump the property since they can't properly sell their products and moving the plan elsewhere. (Not to mention the Remington rumors) Maryland also got ditched by at least one manufacturer.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I've got to say...that was really dumb of ARfcom. Who the hell decides to set up a firearm showroom and chooses NEW YORK, of all places?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Gun free zones are really free fire zones.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Obviously we just need capital controls in place at a federal level to prevent just this sort of undermining The Will of The People by these kulaks, wreckers, hoarders, and capitalists.

    The Colorado Progressive/Populist coalition should put their heads together and rush an ill conceived and poorly written law requiring any kkkorporate entity applying for permission to cease operations in the state to pay their employees full salary and benefits for twenty years.
    Because fairness and unconscionable profitz.

  • Loki||

    Don't give them ideas.

  • MJGreen||

    Hey, it works in France!!

  • Volren||

    Suddenly there is a massive spike in corporate bankruptcies in the State of Colorado.

    Everyone wonders why.

  • thom77||

    Meanwhile, NYC just sent out real, actual confiscation letters for ALL rifles and shotguns that hold more than FIVE rounds. Even bolt-action .22's and hunting shotguns. You know, exactly what the gun grabbers said WOULD NEVER happen.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.c.....n-notices/

  • ||

    If i still lived there, I'd immediately take all my guns to Connecticut and drop them off at my parents' house. Fuck them and their confiscation bullshit. Then, after they came by and I told them they were all gone, I'd wait a bit and bring them back.

  • playa manhattan||

    I have dead drops in NV and AZ just in case.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I think responsible gun owners are OK.

    The problem will be when, for whatever reason, a warrant or warrant-less search is performed on a gun owner's residence and these are found.

  • ||

    No one cares what you think, sockpuppet. Go fuck yourself. I didn't give you permission to address me.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Perhaps you don't care. But others may be interested. Besides, it's an open blog.

  • Tejicano||

    I'm not interested either. I don't evern want to know what "these are found" refers to. your illogical fears don't trump my rights.

  • amagi1776||

    responsible owners? Whose definition of responsible?

    These people were responsible owners until the NYC government decided they were not.

    You can't just say "responsible gun owners are OK". It's clearly not true. We're talking about confiscation in direction violation of their promise that "NO ONE IS COMING TO TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY" with these registrations.

    I don't see how any gun owners are safe. If anything criminals are the law breaking ones are safer. No one knows they have guns. Because they're not fucking registered.

    /end of rant

  • Alice Bowie||

    That's why I think the registration is silly.

    And from what it looks like, only NY State Gun owners (of certain types of guns) are being asked to give in their guns.

    I love this because I'm anti-guns.
    However, I'm not the King of America or NY.

    And, given the fact that we allow Ssome people to have guns and not others, those others will get guns. That's why I think gun registration and gun laws (with the presence of guns) is silly.

  • Tejicano||

    "That's why I think gun registration and gun laws (with the presence of guns) is silly."

    But you still want to see it happen. You are fucked in the head.

  • Alice Bowie||

    One Year After Newtown, Americans Not Interested in Gun Control

    That is completely not true. It's like a Republican, Democrat, Teaparty, or any Senator going on TV and saying "This is what Americans want".

    When they say that, they are referring to their American constituents.

    Many Americans want tougher gun laws. Many Americans would prefer if we didn't manufacturer these things at all. And, of course, many Americans whant guns.

  • wareagle||

    some Americans would settle for existing laws that make sense being enforced and grandstanding measures be repealed. Others may point to "shall not be infringed" and wonder what part of that escapes notice.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I think each and every Gun Law is totally Silly.

    They are obstacles for hunters and gun sportsman.

    They do NOTHING to stop criminals. NOTHING to stop mass murderers. NOTHING to stop public shootings.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Many Americans want tougher gun laws.

    Many Americans want Obama to become a king. What's your point?

    You can't always get what you want, you boot-licking shithead.

    -jcr

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Meanwhile, NYC just sent out real, actual confiscation letters for ALL rifles and shotguns that hold more than FIVE rounds.

    Gosh, I wonder how they knew where to send the letters.

  • wareagle||

    maybe Americans have figured out that A)Prohibition does not work, no matter the item and B) govt can't control itself, let alone anyone else.

  • Alice Bowie||

    If you see how America enforces DUI and DRUGS, you'll see that the Police can be something else.

    DUI for example, I'd say 70% of the people I know between 18-40 that drive have a DUI charge. I see in the news celebrities, politicians, and all sorts of people are arrested each an every day for DUI.

    We have Stop-and-Frisk in NYC. You see what the airports look like. We have cameras everywhere. Drones will be everywhere. And, NYC has several imaging cameras to search for guns.

    It can be enforced with a Police State. And, we are not far from it.

  • wareagle||

    DUI is not about alcohol, per se; it's about not having drunks put others at risk by driving while intoxicated. Prohibition never works, be it on booze, drugs, or guns. I would say results of this poll have something to do with disenchantment with the police state and concern about its growth.

  • Alice Bowie||

    It's the same argument as guns.

    Are you saying that I should tolerate gun owners until they become irresponsible but I shouldn't have to tolerate drunks?

  • amagi1776||

    70% of the people you know have DUIs?

    You must hang out with some pretty irresponsible people.

  • Sigivald||

    That was my thought.

    I think I know one person with a DUI conviction.

    Even if there's a few more who simply never talk about it, there's no way it's anything close to 70%.

    I mean, seriously - it's not that common.

    I don't think 70% of the people I know commit uncaught DUI, let alone getting charged!

  • R C Dean||

    maybe Americans have figured out . . .

    There is, unfortunately, precious little evidence that more than a handful of Americans have, in fact, figured this out.

    Get back to me when Rand Paul is excoriated in the major media for being a squish, and he faces primary challenges from popular, well-funded libertarians.

  • VicRattlehead||

    When Rand Paul is excoriated for being a squish, we will finally be on the right track, when he is held up as a lefty extremist we will be back to a constitutional republic

  • wareagle||

    I don't know. The poll says what it says. Sounds like the "govt has to do something mentality" is losing a bit of traction. Can't say how much but I remember the left claiming "90% want background checks" right after Newtown.

    Maybe in theory, that 90% figure holds but the practice of enforcing such a law is not getting anywhere near that level of support.

  • ubik||

    The individuals behind those polls also claimed similar levels of support for backgound checks for NRA or Gun Owners of America members. Internal NRA polling revealed actual support for such measures of around 5% so I dont place much credence with the 90% figure.

  • Sigivald||

    Well, NRA members usually do support background checks, in my experience.

    Just, not additional ones beyond the existing FFL-sale-only NICS check system we've had for, what, 20 years now?

    Much of the "issue" here, I think, is one side saying "Background Checks!" and meaning something like "universal checks on EVERY transfer, dealer or not, even in-family" and the other meaning the existing system of FFL NICS checks only.

  • Redmanfms||

    Much of the "issue" here, I think, is one side saying "Background Checks!" and meaning something like "universal checks on EVERY transfer, dealer or not, even in-family"

    IOW, lying.

  • R C Dean||

    The poll says what it says.

    That would be "stated preference", which is not be confused with "revealed preference", which is what really matters.

  • TKList||

    Mental health has to be dealt with or these shootings will continue. No gun control will help.

  • Off Duty||

    In a world of deceit....the truth is so precious that it must be surrounded by an army of lies. For now, let's suspend the army of lies.

    Rule # 1 - Survive. It does not matter if you are a republican or democrat, a conservative or a liberal....if you are not in the game.

    Rule # 2 - Procreate. What meaning is your life if you have no one to leave your memories? Teach your children through your own choices, and know that they are watching your every move.

    Rule # 3 - Listen to God. He is there....in that voice we all have in our stream of consciousness. You were born knowing the difference between right and wrong. Trust your senses. Denial is everywhere, except in a foxhole.

    Rule # 4 - Judge.....and be MORALLY prepared to cast that first stone. If you have not lived a moral life....do NOT cast stones.

    Rule # 5 - Know love. Love is the key to God. Evil cannot stand up to love.

    Rule # 6 - Nature's laws supersede man's laws. For thousands of years, evil men/women have written evil laws and interpreted laws for their own gain. An honest person cannot be fooled.

    Good luck. You're gonna need it.

  • Tyger_purr||

    "Denial is everywhere, except in a foxhole."

    I know this is not true therefore it makes me question everything you have said.

  • Off Duty||

    Pearls before swine.....

  • Tyger_purr||

    So you are ignorant and arrogant.

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