Free Speech

28% of Democrats, 15% of Republicans, 10% of Unaffiliateds Would Support Bans on Pro-Gun-Rights Organizations

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

A Rasmussen Reports survey from Sept. 5 & 8 yielded these results, in response to the question,

Should Americans be prohibited by law from belonging to pro-gun rights organizations like the NRA?

"Among all likely voters, 23% favor declaring the NRA a terrorist organization in their home community, while 18% think it should be against the law to belong to pro-gun rights groups like the NRA." On the other hand, 50% of voters have "a favorable impression of the NRA; 44% do not," virtually the same numbers as in March 2018.

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  1. I’m willing to bet a larger percentage would be in favor of banning the ACLU.

    1. And you would be wrong.

    2. Quite possible — I was wondering myself what would happen if a similar post asked about the ACLU; but I know of no poll that has.

      1. I was saying “quite possible” in response to scribe’s comment, but I suppose regexp’s guess is quite possible, too. The trouble is that I’m not sure any of us really has a pulse on the heartbeat of Americans generally, especially to the extent that we can estimate what 10-30% of various subgroups think.

        For instance, I was surprised by the Rasmussen result; I wouldn’t have expected numbers that high. If so, why should I trust my intuitions about what would happen if the same question was asked as to the ACLU?

        1. I’d think you would be less surprised by those numbers looking at the gun control stance of basically all of the Democratic candidates for the Presidential nomination, and the way the Democratic party has excoriated both the Heller and Citizens United decisions. Then you look at the way the ACLU has been backsliding on civil liberties lately.

          The Democratic party has been turning VERY hostile to conventional civil liberties (As opposed to things like abortion and SSM.) lately. A product, I suspect, of expecting to be the ones who get to decide who they’re violated against.

          1. They’re quite fond of the pelvic rights.

            1. Not really, they basically want to regulate how people have sex with the whole affirmative consent thing.

              1. It’s all tied to success in gaining power in controlled fishbowl cages of business and college, where primary rights can be defined as secondary rights. So far, this hasn’t escaped into the wild, but the will is there as evidenced by this poll.

                This is nothing new, which is why the founding fathers included it not just in the constitution explicitely, but pre-constitutionally in constitutional design philosophy that these rights are inherent in you and not a gift from some king.

                Planting a seed for the future, beware of brain scans showing “damage”, and therefor nasty speech may be regulated, and, eventually, sophistry arises to control, such as that used in dictatorships, like “the people aren’t ready to have such knowledge and so must have it filtered by government.”

                I hope that won’t happen, but watch for it.

                1. The left have already been talking about agnotology, the supposed science of how ignorance can actually be increased by free speech. It’s supposed to provide the theoretical justification for censorship by declaring wrongful speech as positively harmful.

              2. ” they basically want to regulate how people have sex with the whole affirmative consent thing.”

                Are you taking up the negative consent side of that particular debate?

        2. I remember some post showing that almost all polls have some base number of respondents who lie just for the fun of it. Get interrupted at dinner, decide to get revenge by giving silly answers. In such a partisan issue as this, I’d expect more than the usual number of exaggerations, just to get the message across that they hate guns.

          My mother used to say “Some people ought to just be shot” and I know she did not mean it literally. It’s just human nature.

          1. She might have meant it literally too.
            I would have no problem if they had shot Charles Manson, et. al.

          2. “But your honah…he needed killin’!”

        3. I don’t think the media talks about the ACLU and how its a malignant influence quite as much as the NRA. Its mostly just passing mentions about them being associated with another bleeding heart initiative so you’d have an even lower turnout with many/most people not really knowing what the ACLU is with conservatives and libs splitting the usual way.

          1. Given the developments in the past 10 years of the ACLU easing off free speech defense because it gets in the way of supporters’ power acquisition via offense industry, I have to wonder if their defense of marching Nazis in the 1970s was really spirited, or was just a deliberate punch in the face of Mr. And Mrs. Middle America, who wanted to ban them.

            1. Neither. The ACLU was founded by communists, and at the time they saw protecting the rights of really obnoxious political minorities as important to their own survival, because if political minorities were going to be suppressed, it would be by their own enemies.

              Their attitude towards political liberty has changed with the perception that they’ve gained enough power that they’re more likley to be the censors than the censored.

            2. The change is sad because the professor I had in law school was David Goldberger, the lawyer who litigated the Skokie/neoNAZI case for the ACLU.

              1. The professor I had for a class in Political and Civil Rights, that is.

      2. Surely there are similar stats on the Communist Party–I’m not just fooling myself in remembering those polls from decades past, right? Or what about the American Atheists back when Madelyn O’Hair ran it? They were a total bugaboo in the 70s.

      3. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters have at least a somewhat favorable impression of the ACLU, including 20% who have a very favorable impression. Forty-one percent (41%) view the ACLU unfavorably, with 23% who view it very unfavorably. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
        http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/november_2018/voters_not_overly_enthused_with_the_aclu

    3. I’m not so sure although I would be willing to bet that a larger percentage would be in favor of banning the SPLC.

  2. I’m sure this week’s installment from Ilya on “political ignorance” is right around the corner… sigh.

  3. As a fan of the First Amendment (and even of the Second Amendment, as long as it doesn’t get an extreme libertarian interpretation), this scares me. This is what happened to many leftist groups in the 1950’s and 1960’s. People confused belief in the ideology / group membership with actually being a violent threat. Folks ought to be able to espouse Second Amendment rights and hold any position they wish to have on gun control, and to join groups that espouse their position.

    However, I must say that the NRA has sort of made its bed in this regard. They have become quite extremist, e.g., opposing any attempt to make the background check system actually work; opposing any limits on clips/magazines; opposing any regulations on even the marketing of dangerous guns; opposing any form of gun registration and licensing; etc. And they come out after every terrorist mass shooting and portray things as if the real threat is that the government might confiscate weapons, while there are still dead bodies on the ground.

    So they decided to occupy political ground that made it inevitable that a lot of Americans would hate them and blame them for mass shootings. This didn’t have to happen (the NRA was once far more moderate) but it did.

    But nonetheless, the First Amendment point stands– it’s dangerous that people want to deprive them of their core rights of free speech and free association.

    1. The NRA is hardly a no holds bar no compromise organization except in the imaginations of the blue checkmark Twitterverse. There is a lot of criticism on them for being too soft. Hence the existence of less conciliatory organizations like GOA and Calguns.

      1. The NRA is hardly a no holds bar no compromise organization except in the imaginations of the blue checkmark Twitterverse.

        No. NRA is exactly a no holds bar no compromise organization. They used to not be this way. As a gunowner myself I stopped supporting the organization over a decade ago and so has most of my family. They are corrupt and no longer offer anything useful to the gun rights debate.

        1. “No. NRA is exactly a no holds bar no compromise organization.”

          Right, that’s why they told Trump to go ahead and ban bumpstocks: Because they’re no holds barred no compromise. That’s why they signed off on the FOPA even after the ban on new machine gun registrations was added. Because they’re no holds barred no compromise.

          Now, the corrupt part, I’m going to agree with.

          1. While I’m late to the game on EV’s post, I agree w/ both Amos and Brett. I somehow got on the mailing lists of some Pro-Gun Rights organizations, and they *are* extreme – making the NRA look like bed fellows of Nancy and Chuck.

            There are certain positions of the NRA on which I think compromise is justified. But even then I’m not sure they have been sufficiently vocal to explain their position and thereby throttle the critics. For example, it seems the NRA’s position on ERPO legislation is that they would support it as long as Due Process concerns are satisfied; the problem is that much of the proposed legislation, such as Feinstein’s S. 8 that introduces “show trials” into American jurisdiction, so inadequately protects Due Process rights that it appears the NRA is opposed to any reasonable solutions.

            And many of the other supposed “remedies” that Dilan suggests have such intolerable consequences that opposition by the NRA is most reasonable.

            As to Brett’s last point, from what little I know, I concur. While I certainly will be continuing my NRA membership, any extra donations will only go to the NRA-ILA.

        2. Yes, lets go back to the good old days 20-50 years ago when NRA gleefully helped pass gun laws were 2000x stricter than they are now and we actually had moderate sensible Republicans like Jesse Helms and Richard Nixon cutting the cord to thousands of transgender bathrooms and feminist inclusivity centers as far as the eye could see.

          1. You mean the good old days when I could, as a minor, have used my allowance to buy a rifle mail order? And then brought it on a flight in my carry on bags? Those days when the laws were 2000x stricter than today?

    2. Dilan your comment seems very sensible (and I am someone who suspects that NRA-advocated policies, if they could prevail, would do much more harm than good.)

    3. In fact, the NRA is the most “moderate” pro-gun organization out there, unless you count the occasional false flag organization the DNC pays for. Essentially every significant pro-gun organization makes the NRA look like a pack of compromise hungry quislings.

      But the NRA is being portrayed as an extremist organization by media who probably honestly do think it extreme, but only because they’re extremists on the other end of things.

      1. I think it is part of the strategy of the gun rights movement to have smaller, more extreme organizations out there that they can point to in claiming that the NRA is moderate.

        But the NRA is not moderate. They are also extreme.

        1. The NRA is only extreme to far-left extremists who know nothing of gun culture or even guns themselves. You remind me of dentists who encourage parents to bring in their kids’ Halloween candy so they can throw it away, or people who buy books so they can throw them on a bonfire, not realizing how their purchase is counter-productive.

          1. Check out NRA TV some time.

            1. Yeah, it only strikes you as extreme because you’re an extremist on the other side.

              1. I’m not. I think the right to bear arms operationalizes an individual right to self-defense, and that includes having a gun.

                I thing registration is fine.

                NRA-TV wasn’t just about guns. It was also about race and Alex Jones conspiracies. Look it up.

        2. This is a bit paranoid on your part: It’s not like Gun Owners of America dances to the NRA’s tune, or was secretly founded by the NRA. Rather, the reason the NRA has a lot of competitors is because there are a lot of gun owners who find the NRA too compromising.

          Remember that the NRA had to be dragged kicking and screaming into defending the 2nd amendment by a membership revolt. They were all set to settle into being a historical society with a nice museum of all the guns the members would no longer be allowed to own, and it was the members that said “No!” to it. And they’ve tried backsliding a couple times since.

          To give you just an example, the Heller case was pushed through by the SAF, not the NRA, which actually tried to sabotage the case because it’s leaders thought it was a loser, and would establish a bad precedent. But who gets the credit when we win? The NRA.

          Your problem is that you’re sufficiently anti-gun that anything remotely like a principled defense of gun ownership looks like “extremism” to you. But that’s not any objective measure of extremism, it’s just where you’re coming from.

    4. “However, I must say that the NRA has sort of made its bed in this regard. They have become quite extremist, e.g., opposing any attempt to make the background check system actually work; opposing any limits on clips/magazines; opposing any regulations on even the marketing of dangerous guns; opposing any form of gun registration and licensing; etc. And they come out after every terrorist mass shooting and portray things as if the real threat is that the government might confiscate weapons, while there are still dead bodies on the ground.”

      Most of this is a leftist media propagated falsehood.

      1. Dilan’s the guy who, last gun thread, claimed the Second Amendment existed so that the people would be able to come TO the defense of the Federal Government.
        He also claimed the Second Amendment was not an individual right.

        Why would you be surprised he trashes organizations that actually support the Amendment?

        1. Exactly. Anyone who calls for a bans on “assault weapons” or high capacity “clips” either is a dishonest and evil liberal or an ignorant moron.

          1. Where did I call for a ban on assault weapons? I do think that dangerous guns can be strictly regulated and controlled, but not on the basis of the silly cosmetic features that were the subject of assault weapons statutes.

            As for “clips”, I said clips/magazines, deliberately. The point is, number of bullets. And again, I am not saying there has to be a ban, just strict control. There are legitimate reasons a responsible citizen, discharging his or her solemn duty to the state as a member of the militia and with proper training, registration, and safety instruction, might need high capacity magazines. On the other hand, some alcoholic with three convictions for wife beating shouldn’t be able to order one out of a mail order catalog because he thinks it looks attractive.

            1. Okay, so you are acknowledging that the ban on “assault weapons” only targeted cosmetic features like collapsible stocks, bayonet lugs, and flash suppressors. So how do you define “dangerous guns?”

              Regarding high-capacity magazines, where is your evidence that they are dangerous? I haven’t seen any evidence that shows 10 round magazines aren’t just as deadly. All I’ve seen is conjecture and theorizing from liberals.

              1. I define dangerous guns by features that make mass killings easier to accomplish.

                High capacity magazines are one such feature. Obviously, having to reload more often makes mass killing more difficult and gives authorities or armed civilians a chance to take the shooter out.

                And you will notice, when I think the gun rights movement is right, I admit it. The gun rights movement was right about the cosmetic stuff in the definition of “assault weapons”. If we are concerned with mass shootings, what do we care whether there’s a bayonet lug on the thing?

                1. How do you explain the mass shooting which have used bolt action guns, or handguns with limited magazines? I believe the Sandy Hook kid swapped magazines prematurely just so he could control when he ran out of ammo and had to switch. He obviously didn’t need “high” capacity magazines.

                  You really are ignorant. You ought to learn a thing or two about guns before you look even more ignorant.

                2. Yes, that’s what I meant by “theorizing.” Virginia Tech was conducted with 10 round magazines. It’s not hard to swap out magazines, especially when no one is returning fire. If you’re going to call for restrictions on a Constitutional right, you need hard evidence, not “Well, maybe if shooters only had 10 round magazines, someone could tackle him before he reloads.”

                  1. When people say things like this, they aren’t arguing in good faith.

                    Changing magazines slows down a shooter. I would have a lot more respect for a gun rights advocate who admitted that, and admitted that this could reduce somewhat the lethality of a given situation, and then argue why we need to have the right to the larger magazine anyway.

                    But to just flat out lie and pretend that changing magazines could never have any effect? That’s the sort of thing that reminds us why the gun rights movement needs to be decisively defeated.

                    1. When people say things like this, they aren’t arguing in good faith.

                      Changing magazines slows down a shooter.

                      If you are blindly shooting without aiming at all, then yes, changing magazines might slow down a shooter, although with minimal training, you can learn to switch magazines in 1 – 2 seconds.

                      But most of these mass shootings (and all offensive and defensive shootings) require aimed fire at moving targets. So this theoretical advantage largely vanishes. In one of the worst mass shootings ever, at Virginia Tech, the killer, working in a gun-free zone murdered dozens of people with ten round magazines, because he had at least 5 minutes in which to do his work without effective opposition.

                      If you really want to reduce mass shootings, we should unite in removing gun free zones.

                      89% of Mass Public Shootings are in Gun-free zones

                      Quote:
                      …only 13% of mass public shootings are done with any type of rifle… about 9 in 10 of the attacks are in gun-free zones

                    2. Adding a few seconds to a shooter’s spree makes no practical difference.

                      To flat out lie, and pretend that changing mags – even multiple times – would have a significant effect on the shooter’s ability to shoot over the course of 10 minutes and more? That’s the sort of thing that reminds us why the gun grabbers need to be decisively defeated.

                    3. First of all, you are assuming military precision. Some of these shooters have been rank amateurs with no military training. Indeed, some of them have had guns jam on them.

                      It’s POSSIBLE to change a magazine in a second. It’s also possible to get hung up changing a magazine and for that to be the difference in stopping additional killing.

                      This is reminiscent of the similar move gun rights types make on registration. It is entirely possible for a gun registration to make no difference in the solving or prosecution of a crime. It happens all the time. But you can’t then convert that into a categorical “gun registration never makes a difference”, when in fact there have been crimes that have been either solved or prosecuted using gun registrations as relevant evidence.

                      It’s just a fundamental dishonesty. What you guys really believe is that even if changing a magazine slows down a shooter sometimes, it’s not worth vitiating what you see is a core right. So say that! But you can’t. You know people won’t agree with you, so you have to lie.

                      And that’s the fundamental problem here. There’s just a ton of lies told on your side of this debate. And liars in are really corrosive to a democracy and have to be defeated.

                    4. I didn’t say it COULD never have any effect. I said that I hadn’t seen any evidence that it actually does, in mass shootings. It’s not hard to change magazines, and usually victims are cowering in the corners, as they’re unarmed themselves.

                      My point is that if you want to restrict a Constitutional right, you need to satisfy strict scrutiny, and provide extremely good evidence. All of the supposed safety advantages from magazine limits are theoretical.

                    5. That’s funny. A gun controller complaining about someone else’s lack of good faith.

                    6. “Adding a few seconds to a shooter’s spree makes no practical difference.”

                      Kip Kinkel, in shooting up Thurston High School in Lane County, Oregon.
                      He was overpowered by unarmed students when he ran out of ammunition and had to reload.

                    7. What makes a gun lethal is what makes it useful for self defense. Same with magazines.

                      The oh so scary properties you infer from standard capacity magazines are what make them useful for 2nd Amendment self defense, to wit, a defense of home AND homeland. If a defender is faced with mass insurrection, invasion or a call to battle in the militia, a 7 round magazine is a distinct disadvantage. If a 20 or 30 round magazine is a good idea to standard issue to the local police, it is of standard utility to a US Citizen. Aberrational misuse isn’t enough justification to take away standard small arms configuration of a rifle in common use.

                      I think a lot of this magazine limit piffle is because the gun opponents only conceive of allowing guns for 2nd Amendment self defense against a single bad guy in the home or bodega. The next Heller decision will preserve the right to bear military useful small arms outside the home and as part of lawful defense operations in times of chaos or war.

                    8. “I think a lot of this magazine limit piffle is because the gun opponents only conceive of allowing guns for 2nd Amendment self defense against a single bad guy in the home or bodega.”

                      I think it’s more a “you only have to hold off the bad guy until the cops get there”, because of the assumption that the cops are coming. We get to a breakdown where the cops AREN’T coming, a whole lot of assumptions need to change.

                  2. “I think it’s more a “you only have to hold off the bad guy until the cops get there”, because of the assumption that the cops are coming. We get to a breakdown where the cops AREN’T coming, a whole lot of assumptions need to change.”

                    Like here in NW MT. County is 100 miles long, with sometimes as few as a single deputy working late at night. If he is at one end of the county, it may take him an hour or so to respond.

            2. Dilan needs to read the actual US code regarding militas both organized and unorganized before publicly demonstrating his ignorance.

        2. 1. When have I EVER said the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right? Of course it does. And Heller and MacDonald are rightly decided.

          2. However, you have been lied to on this idea that the right has nothing to do with civil defense. It is right there in the Second Amendment. A well regulated militia (which meant, as Prof. Barnett correctly points out, the general public) is necessary for the security of the free state. Yes, your gun ownership was part of the framers’ design for defending the free state.

          Now, yes, there was some rhetoric from framers about overthrowing the government with arms. That’s not surprising, given the Declaration of Independence. But the Constitution rejects that. According to the Constitution, there is ZERO right to overthrow the government with arms. It’s in the treason clause. Levying war against the United States is a capital offense, the only one defined in the Constitution.

          So that’s the end of this matter. You have an individual right to bear arms, that is there because of a collective responsibility we all have to defend the country. And if you take up those arms against the country, you are a traitor.

          1. One man’s traitor is another man’s freedom fighter.

            1. You can make that argument, but it’s extra-constitutional. The issue is what the Second Amendment protects, and there’s no basis to say it protects treason when it talks about defending the state right in the text and appears in a document that defines treason as a capital crime.

              1. “appears in a document that defines treason as a capital crime.”

                No, it doesn’t. The constitution does define treason as a crime, but it does not specify the penalty.

                US Constitution, Article 3 Section 3.

                Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

                The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

                Nope, I don’t see any mention of the death penalty there.

                1. What was the punishment for treason at the time the Constitution was adopted, Matthew?

                  1. “What was the punishment for treason at the time the Constitution was adopted, Matthew?”

                    In the US. Nothing. Congress would have needed at least a few weeks to declare a punishment.

                    Even if Congress did declare the death penalty for treason, that doesn’t make treason defined as a capital crime by the constitution itself.

                    1. Treason was a crime at common law. At the time the Constitution was adopted, there was a common law of crimes and there was not a requirement that every criminal offense be codified.

                      And it was a capital crime.

                    2. “Treason was a crime at common law.”

                      And in the English common law, treason was to consort with the enemies of the Crown. I don’t think American courts were going to enforce that one with a death penalty. (Recalling at when the Constitution passed, there weren’t any federal courts yet.)

          2. “2. However, you have been lied to on this idea that the right has nothing to do with civil defense. It is right there in the Second Amendment. A well regulated militia (which meant, as Prof. Barnett correctly points out, the general public) is necessary for the security of the free state. Yes, your gun ownership was part of the framers’ design for defending the free state.”

            Yes, but from who? The founders weren’t under the impression a militia were militarily superior to a standing army. They supported it because they thought it could be counted on to revolt under some circumstances, rather than allow itself to be used as a means of oppression. And they protected civilian gun ownership because if a well regulated militia really IS necessary to the security of a free state, a government that doesn’t want freedom would try to abolish it.

            1. Brett, if they had believed this, they wouldn’t have granted the government the power to try you for treason if you did turn your arms against the government.

              Nope, the “free state” is the government, which you are obligated to come to the defense of.

              1. If you consider “free state” to be synonymous w/ government, the succeeding question is
                WHICH government?

                But does “free state” mean: the government; or the collective body of citizens; or an amorphous entity (such as the state envisioned by Cicero); or a civil society comprised of its individuals? I don’t have a ready answer based upon contemporaneous historical understanding, but I don’t think the answer is as clear as you might think.

                I can provide a link, for further consideration of these questions, supplied by our own EV: http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volokh/beararms/FEDERALI.HTM

                While I am more attuned to Madison, even Hamilton voiced the well-known contemporaneous fear of Standing Armies. Madison seems to clearly state that, if the Militia is for the defense of some government, it is for the defense of the STATE governments.

                Also, ought we not to consider that the Second Amendment was proposed and ratified AFTER the issuance of these salutary comments about the value and function of the Militia? Does not then the amendment reinforce this understanding regarding its benefit and use – or, if the interpretation rendered by the Founders (including Madison and Hamilton) was not considered sufficient, add additional protections for it and buttress it even more against restrictions?

                Finally, if the Federal government through ambition becomes oppressive, then:
                does the defense of rights against this oppression constitute “levying war against” the United States; and
                WHO is the party committing Treason?

                1. The militia was intended to be the first line of defense, whether against European powers getting expansionist, native Americans becoming agitated, or just large-scale criminality… giving time for the Congress to convene, determine that there is a need for an army, and provide for the recruitment, assembly, and equipment for an army.

                  1. I don’t dispute at all that the Constitution contemplated the establishment of an army, even a “standing” army of some degree. However, from the contemporaneous writings, public and private, the concept of a Standing Army, something they vociferously deprecated, was one of a size and nature that could be a threat to liberty. They certainly would have considered the military-industrial complex we have had now since WWII to be atrocious and intolerable.

                    While it certainly was expected that “Congress … [would] convene, determine … [whether] there is a need for an army, and provide for the recruitment, assembly, and equipment for an army”, I don’t consider that it was conceived that the role of the militia was but a “stopgap measure”. Which of the bodies might be expected to be the “first line of defense” is certainly open to debate. But I read the commentary to be that it was intended that an army and the militia would be parallel institutions, both being necessary.

              2. The idea is NOT to overthrow the existing US government as we know it, but to restore same in the event someone comes to power and suspends the Bill of Rights and constitutional order with government owned arms.

                1. That’s why they blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City. Try again.

          3. I think you’re misreading “security”. It’s saying that if you get rid of a personal right to bear arms then the state has no guarantee of being “free,” not necessarily that the state needs a militia to survive, though they did believe both these things.

          4. 1. In the other article’s comments, you rejected Heller and denied that private arms were acceptable. You declared that service in the militia (run by the government) was the ONLY reason to be allowed arms.

            2. The funny thing about talking coming to the defense of the government is that there is never a need to prevent the government from preventing people from coming to its defense. And yet, that’s exactly why you claim the Amendment means. That’s just nonsense.
            Again, for the tenth time: Read the Federalist Papers. They are quite clear: The armed populace is viewed as essential to countering an illegitimate government.

            Also lost in that argument is the right to self-defense. That right was so firmly established that the Founders felt no need to call it out in the Constitution.

            1. 1. I have never rejected Heller. Not once. I said before it came down that Heller should win, I thought the opinion was reasonable as to the result (there were some problems with the reasoning, but it got the big picture right), and I have defended Heller consistently since then. There is a private, individual, right to bear arms. While the clear purpose of this is to facilitate the civil defense of the states and of the United States, by forming an armed populace that can be called up, organized, trained, disciplined, and regulated by the government, the right exists whether or not the government does any of these things. I don’t think I can be any clearer than this. Even if the government never asks you to participate in civil defense, you still have a right to keep and bear arms.

              2. What I claim the amendment means is what it says- that an armed populace forms the basis for a well regulated militia that can be organized and called up by the government for the purpose of civil defense. That is exactly what not only the Second Amendment says, but what the rest of the Constitution says too. You guys not only ignore the first sentence of the Second Amendment, but you ignore the Militia Clause. Do you think that if the government decides to organize the militia, that this would be unconstitutional? Do you have the right to refuse service in the militia? Because constitutional text would seem to preclude that.

              3. You are also ignoring the Treason clause. I mean, it really doesn’t matter what the Framers said in the Federalist Papers. Guess what- the Framers were not above lying to get the Constitution enacted. The Constitution literally says if you levy war against the United States, you are committing treason. So all this stuff about a right to revolt against the government? It’s flatly prohibited by the text of the Constitution.

              4. I don’t really know if Heller is right that the common law recognized a “right” to self defense. It was certainly recognized as a somewhat limited DEFENSE to certain crimes and torts, but we normally don’t speak of affirmative defenses as “rights”. For instance, if you do something ordinarily criminal under duress or because you are insane, do you have a “right” to do it? Or is it simply a basis for excusing your conduct.

              Having said that, though, even if we assume that you have a right to self defense, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a right to particular weapons. Obviously, the self-defense doctrine developed in the common law in a period when there were very few options available for using deadly force. The way the common law works is doctrines can get cut back as society changes. You can’t assume that, even if the Constitution enacted the 1791 conception of self-defense, that it enacted the NRA’s conception of it in 2019 including extremely dangerous weapons.

              1. The argument that the founders somehow intended the treason clause to preclude a personal right to bear arms is so inventive as to be disingenuous. The treason clause was not included in the Constitution because the drafters felt a unique need to forbid armed rebellion; it was placed there to place hard and exact limits on the sort of activities the government could define as treasonous. Madison discusses this very clearly in Federalist 43. The perceived need to limit the scope of what can be called treason is not in conflict with the idea that the final check against government tyranny is an armed populace.

                Also, while the idea that the treason clause somehow places limits on the 2A’s guarantee of a personal right to keep and bear arms, I’d point out that the 2A is an amendment. Not that it is in any way, but if the treason clause were in conflict with the 2A, the language of the 2A would supercede that of the treason clause.

              2. At the time of the drafting of the 2nd Amendment, the colonials had in common use arms that were superior to that of the regular army. The rifled Kentucky and Pennsylvania style flintlocks were deadlier at far greater ranges than that of the crude smoothbore muskets of the US.
                If the founders wanted Joe Blow citizen to have less lethal weaponry than the standing Army, they would have said so. Further, private ownership of cannons, mortars and sailing Man o Wars was common.
                Me thinks the founders would be more appalled at the willingness of Americans to trade freedom for some perceived state security, especially the idea that martial arms should be kept exclusively by the government.

            2. ” You declared that service in the militia (run by the government) was the ONLY reason to be allowed arms.”

              It’s the original reason.

              “Because I want one” is sufficient for responsible adults.

    5. You are ill-informed if you think universal registration, permits to buy and possess guns, magazine restrictions, and banning “military” features (bayonet lugs and grenade launchers, really?) are common sense gun control. And if you think some guns are dangerous, it would be fascinating to know what guns you think are not dangerous.

      As for marketing restrictions, how can you claim to also support the First Amendment? You have a very conflicted ideology.

      1. Marketing of guns is commercial speech.

      2. ” if you think some guns are dangerous”

        Well, there are reported cases of “I dropped it, and {I / my friend} got shot when it hit the ground and went off.” I imagine this is rare for well-designed and well-maintained weapons, but apparently they aren’t all well-designed and well-maintained, and the ones that aren’t would be “dangerous”.

        The real danger, of course, comes from guns in the hands of irresponsible people. The “hold my beer” guy, kids, and the suicidally depressed come to mind. Those can be dangerous, too.

        For responsible adults, “Because I want one” should be all the justification needed to get one. But responsible adults are, well, responsible. Either they make good on damage done by mistakes or lapses in judgment, or they carry insurance to do it, or both.

    6. as if the real threat is that the government might confiscate weapons

      No one wants to ban or confiscate guns. Ever! It’s a crazy and paranoid idea!

      [Video] Beto O’Rourke Promises to Confiscate Semi-Automatic Guns

      Quote:
      “How do you address fears that the government is going to confiscate people’s semi-auto firearms?” one of the reporters asks…

      O’Rourke’s frank response must have surprised the reporter.

      “I want to be really clear, that’s exactly what we are going to do,” he answers.

      1. Who cares what Beto thinks? He’s just trying to get attention.

        1. The point is what he thinks will get him positive attention from Democrats.

    7. Sounds more like Dilan is the one that has become more extremist and is projecting against the NRA.

    8. Opposing bad, unconstitutional policy isn’t the NRA’s fault. It’s the fault of the people for believing in that crap.

    9. They have become quite extremist, e.g., opposing any attempt to make the background check system actually work;

      For instance?

      opposing any limits on clips/magazines; opposing any regulations on even the marketing of dangerous guns; opposing any form of gun registration and licensing; etc.

      Those aren’t “extremist” positions. Those are positions arrived at based on actual topical knowledge. And, as already noted, the NRA has actually supported some firearms restrictions in recent years…most notably the bumpstock ban (which, by the way, made the Trump admin officially more active on gun-control than the Obama admin).

  4. ISTM surveys always seem a little sketchy when you get below 30% or so.

    1. The dirty little secret of the polling industry is that response rates have been dropping into the single digits, as people switch to cell phones, and refuse to answer any number they don’t recognize. This has totally undermined the scientific basis of polling, they’re out there like Wile E. Coyote after he’s run off the cliff, but before he looks down. Standing on nothing.

      They’re just hoping like Hell it doesn’t bite them on anything they can’t sweep under the rug, while they know it will eventually. But what’s the alternative, throwing up their hands and finding another line of work?

      1. There was one big one in 2016. Remember when Sanders won the Michigan primary? There wasn’t any poll that predicted that.

        1. The “margin of error” pollsters cite is the 95% confidence level. A poll, even done ideally, will be outside of that 1 time in 20. And there are 50 states…

          95% confidence levels are considered a joke in the hard sciences.

          1. And 95% confidence is considered heavenly in the social sciences.

        2. And there was that whole, “Hillary in a landslide!” thing.

      2. This has totally undermined the scientific basis of polling,

        I mean, it hasn’t, but I’m sure if you stay on the Internet long enough eventually you’ll find a topic you can talk knowledgeably about.

        1. No, it has undermined it. You have to assume that the group responding to you is representative of the population as a whole, which isn’t crazy when 75% of the people you try to contact do respond, but when it’s only 5%, yeah, that’s a very risky assumption.

          Is it possible some wiz-bang mathematician could put polling back on a sound basis, give them a hard guide to polling accuracy as a function of response rates, like they have for sample size? Yeah, I wouldn’t discount that happening. But it hasn’t happened yet.

        2. It does, though. If you assume random sampling when you take non-random samples it blows everything up. It’s non-random because the people who live in areas that (unintentionally) restrict polling by cellphone aren’t random and neither are the people who don’t answer any callers they don’t know.

        3. It depends on what you mean by “undermined”. Obviously, there are a lot of polls that turn out to be right or correlate with actual results. But it’s worth remembering that even very unscientific polls will turn out to be accurate some amount of the time.

          The thing is, there is now a lot of hocus pocus in making various adjustments and applying various weighting mechanisms to compensate for problems in polltaking. And as a result, there’s both a ton of statistical noise in polls (e.g., look at the fluctuations every year in the general election polls- obviously, voters are not constantly flipping and flopping back and forth among the candidates) and some glaring inaccuracies. I might use a different word than “undermined”, but seriously, polls are a lot less useful than most political junkies pretend they are.

  5. Pretty sad but not unexpected. I guess we’re past the point now where ‘everybody in the end wants the same thing’. Theres a new generation that simply and proudly doesn’t value basic freedoms anymore. You might say this about any new generation but the disdain for free speech and other basic rights from these new bosses seems especially activist and widespread compared to the passive benign disregard past kids grew out of.

    Of course, they don’t mind as long as they’re not affected so maybe things will bounce back again once the pendulum returns.

    1. Look at what percentage support laws against “hate speech.” Scary times indeed, and I’m confident we won’t resolve them without a civil war.

      1. Look at how many think there are already “hate speech” laws in the U.S.

  6. Any data on the age of the respondents? I wonder if that 28 + 15% are college grads from the last ten years. Sending kids to an environment where they’re taught, with the apparent approval of the general society, that it’s good and right to suppress opposing viewpoints, has to blow back on us at some point.

    1. According to the summary under 30s are much more likely to support the ban.

    2. […] they’re taught, with the apparent approval of the general society, that it’s good and right to suppress opposing viewpoints […]

      When hasn’t that been true? Which viewpoint it’s “good and right” to suppress may change over time, but there’s always a scapegoat.

      1. It’s all THEIR fault. We wouldn’t have this problem if we just got rid of THEM!

        (Substitute your chosen hated group for THEM and season to taste.)

  7. This is why we need to get rid of the liberals….

    1. Maybe we need to get rid of the universities, which seem to do more harm to liberal values than any other organizations.

    2. Yea! These liberals think membership in the NRA should be outlawed. We cannot stand this attack on our civil rights. The only proper response is to ban liberals from everything. Only then can we live in a utopia.

      1. Got that right!

  8. Not surprised at a third of Democrats wanting the NRA outlawed, or even the 14% of Republicans. But that 10% of unaffilateds is surprising; Usually they’re just a weighted average between Republicans and Democrats, it’s pretty rare that they’re further from average than either of them.

    1. The survey claims to have polled “1,000 Likely Voters”. At that sample size, the statistical significance of even their total results is highly questionable. 95% chance that the results they reported are within three percentage points of the real answer – one in twenty chance that they got even that close only through dumb luck.

      Worse, however, they are reporting splits, not total results. They do not report the sample size of each of their analytical splits but even if you assumed it was exactly equal, the reliability of a poll of barely 300 people is so poor that they shouldn’t have wasted the electronic ink publishing their results. Since it’s highly unlikely that their randomly selected “1000 Likely Voters” were evenly distributed across political affiliation, the margin of error for whatever group came out smallest will be huge. For the numbers reported above to be true even at the low level of confidence they chose, they would have had to separately survey 1000 Ds, 1000 Rs and 1000 Is.

      The claim on the linked page that “The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence” is statistical malpractice given the details that they chose to report.

      1. Statistical malpractice by pollsters is so routine these days that you should assume it until proven to the contrary.

      2. I loved that the actual totals were only available to Platinum Members.

        You, too, can be a Platinum Member if you just pay $24.95 per month!

        1. Well, SOMEBODY has to pay for doing the polling, no?

      3. I have read that all polls have some base number of respondents who give stupid answers just to have fun, or as revenge for being interrupted. Given the small category (10%), I suspect that’s bumping up against the jokers.

    2. IMHO the numbers appear to correlate with infiltration by Progressives into the Democratic and Republican Parties.

  9. Why is anyone surprised that the same people that want to neuter the 2nd amendment aren’t fond of the 1st either?

    If they want to get rid of guns they don’t like, they certainly want to silence speech they don’t like … for our own good of course.

    That whole “Redress of grievances” thing, is as archaic to them as owning a “firelock” for defense against criminals and tyranny. If you don’t agree with them, just shut up. But be sure and turn in your firearms first, of course.

  10. Fact: 7% of the 32% of Likely Democratic Voters in the survey who said that gun rights organizations should be declared terrorist organizations are illegal aliens and should be deported.

    1. Why are you making stuff up?

      1. Having trouble recognizing sarcasm, Sarcastro? 😉

        1. Sure, but sarcasm to what end? Bringing in illegals voting seems an odd choice.

  11. Several points worth reinforcing.

    A) the NRA is a pushover organization, much like the ACLU is this decade, and both different from the ardent protectors of minority rights they were in the past, especially when the ACLU started to support the oldest civil rights organization in the US as they tried (often in vain) to protect the rights of freedmen from their bigoted oppressors. As others have said, GOA actually supports liberty, while the NRA is much more of a facsimile of a civil rights organization. It’s not that they’re useless, just that they’re used less. Re: corruption, totally.

    B) dangerous guns should be banned, and already are under every jurisdiction I’m aware of. Just like dangerous cars, dangerous blenders, and every other device where if used for ill intent will always cause harm. So when a “dangerous gun” is manufactured and consistently detonates a round out of battery the manufacturer absolutely should be prosecuted for it….. which is why it’s both so rare to occur, and even when it does most guns do so in a relatively safe manner (read extra emphasis on “relatively”).

    C) There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. And I’m a statistician, so I’m good at it.

    D) regarding features that make guns better at mass killings: there are NO features that make a gun better at mass killings that don’t also make it better at one of their lawful uses, and that’s even setting aside a calling up of the militia in an emergency (which would be cheating, since if we were serious about it we’d be issuing the standard infantry rifle to everyone when they turned 18).

    Bayonets: never used in a mass killing in the US, no crime mitigation value

    Hearing protection devices (aka silencers): never used in a mass killing, protects the hearing of all around, considered mandatory in most EU nations as it’s rude not to use one

    High capacity magazines: I believe used once in an unlawful shooting with a Glock. Not really useful to a “mass shooter” as they tend to jam. Banning these would save no lives while making it harder for hobbyists. Ex: 33rd glock mags, 50rd AK or AR drum mags.

    Standard capacity magazines: they’re standard, even if banned it would be impossible to get rid of the hundreds of millions of them, and they’re trivial to make with a 3D printer. No lives would be saved from unlawful shooters, but some (few) home defenders would die because they didn’t have enough rounds to stop all attackers)

    Orthopedic devices (adjustable shoulder stocks, many muzzle devices, barrel shrouds, etc): only effect people who need them, for a mass shooter they’ll just adapt a gun once to them so there’s no change for them, but it would prevent the disabled from using some guns

    Background checks: to date we’ve seen exactly one mass shooter who may have been stopped by expanded background checks (ignoring the few who should have been stopped but weren’t under the current system because government agencies themselves didn’t comply with the law and update the NICS for dishonorably discharged veterans and similar). But we have more than that each year who try to buy a gun, are erroneously denied by NICS (usually a name mismatch, like how Senator Kennedy was on the no-fly list because of an IRA terrorist with the same name) and are murdered before they’re able to get it resolved. Both ways were dealing with very small numbers, but any of the current proposals will mean more dead people.

    There are things we can do (beyond some of the idiocy proposed about mental health), but what’s being proposed are things that have been studied in depth and that we know don’t work.

    1. More dumb proposals of things to ban:

      High capacity clips: seriously, who uses clips who isn’t also role playing? And no comments about using them to speed load your standard capacity magazines, nobody trying to murder would ever do that because it’s dumb – they’d just carry extra mags.

      SWAT teams attacking every home suspected to contain an “assault rifle” (this is what a mandatory “buy back” means): will increase gun deaths, especially in minority neighborhoods. I suppose if your goal is to take away the black mans black gun it would work. Definitely get a huge spike in homicides.

      “Expanded background checks” doesn’t actually mean anything, unless the rule is “only people with a credit score over 750 get to buy guns.” That might actually do something to lower homicides, evil as it is. Might do something for mass shooters, though they often murder and steal their guns anyway (see: Sandy Hook, as his mom would have passed the credit score test too, probably). Won’t do anything for suicide as the vast majority of gun suicides are middle aged white males who would pass most tests.

      “Take away guns from people a judge finds dangerous” could theoretically work, but in many of the shootings there were plenty of reports that could have gotten a 72 hour psychiatric evaluation and potential commitment for the shooter in advance, that the police simply didn’t follow up on. Why would we think that giving the state more laws they choose not to enforce would somehow be helpful? Setting aside the “guilty until proven innocent” perspective these all have, and which we’ve seen play out in this fashion in family courts with claims of abuse. Can’t imagine an angry ex-spouse claims his former wife is dangerous, has her guns seized, and then she mysteriously “disappears.” Because that’s not predictable.

      1. Using a clip the load an empty mag is time consuming and the firearm must be designed to use said clips. Few modern arms are so designed.

        1. I think you meant, “no” modern firearms are designed to use clips. Sure, M1903 Springfields are still manufactured,simply because it’s a good bolt rifle design, and if you can find those clips they still work, but the design is over a century old, so I don’t think that counts as a “modern” firearm, even if recently manufactured. I do know people who (rarely) use these, but they’re 3-5 round clips (since that’s what the magazine holds) and only used for ease of organization of hunting cartridges. Think about it: you’re hunting elk or larger and keep your tuned hunting ammo in clips so they’re easy to throw into your jacket when you leave. No other real use case for this.

          Even the AR pattern rifle is almost 60 years old, and while there were clips made to reload their external magazines I don’t know anyone who has any – this just wasn’t the sort of thing to take home from Vietnam, and they’ve been defunct for half a century. Anyone who might want to speed load AR magazines will just have a speed loader, which is much faster than using clips anyway.

    2. “D) regarding features that make guns better at mass killings: there are NO features that make a gun better at mass killings that don’t also make it better at one of their lawful uses, and that’s even setting aside a calling up of the militia in an emergency (which would be cheating, since if we were serious about it we’d be issuing the standard infantry rifle to everyone when they turned 18).”

      Exactly. I’ve made that argument many times. The same qualities that make a gun useful for defense (that is, being able to fire many rounds rapidly) also make it useful for offense. It’s like saying “Cars should be able to drive fast so that you can drive a sick person to the hospital, but not fast such that you can speed away from cops.”

      1. I think you have to divide the gun controllers into two categories: The ringleaders, and the useful idiots.

        The useful idiots actually think gun control is about fighting crime and suicide, because that’s what they’ve been told by the ringleaders. They’ve also been told that the people on the other side are monsters and liars who shouldn’t be listened to, so they tend not to be receptive to contrary information unless it’s coming from somebody they already personally trust.

        The ringleaders know that gun control isn’t about crime or suicide, it’s about disarming the populace to make revolt and assassination more difficult. It’s always been about that.

        Modern gun control really got its start after the Kennedy assassination, when the politicians started getting worried about being shot, and decided that they’d be safer if the population were disarmed. Everything else is just an excuse to protect themselves.

        1. I think that’s right. They support bans on “assault weapons,” not because they think it’s useful, but because it a) pisses off gun owners who have to fix their stocks and remove the flash hiders and b) because it is a stepping stone to further regulation.

        2. I watched a video from InRange on YouTube recently about gun control in Tombstone (highly recommend it), with the amusing switch in political parties – the Republicans were urban, and the Democrats were rural. This was back what the term “cow-boy” was an insult and always included the hyphen. If you’ve heard about gun control in the old west, this is what their video was about.

          Here’s the key part: bans on all dangerous weapons (including Bowie knives) wasn’t about crime reduction then either, it was about control of the out-group. Back then and there the Democrat party was the outgroup to be oppressed by the Republican urbanites, just like further east it was the black republican freemen who were the outgroup to be oppressed by the Democrats, or the Black Panthers a century later to be oppressed in California.

          It’s always about oppressing the “outgroup,” even if how you might describe them changes over time. That was the genius of the bill of rights and the 14th Amendment, to put many of the important rights – speech, self preservation, but not (unfortunately) contract or (I.e. the right to make a living) – beyond the reach of the majority.

        3. I think you’re choosing to ignore a broad third category, because they don’t happen to fit the narrative you prefer.

          1. You mean people who are generally educated about the topic, and actually want reasonable gun legislation? Where reasonable is defined as something that will materially reduce net externalities?

            It’s not that this is a null set, but that this group is subtle, and that’s not a politically viable approach.

            Suppose we really do want to accomplish this, what might some approaches be?

            Subsidized hardened safes? This would reduce the odds of Sandy Hooks (kid took his mother’s rifle, killed her, then shot a school) or Santana High School (kid took his fathers guns out of a drawer, then shot a school, including the people I carried away covered in blood).

            Anti-bullying programs? But we know that both zero-tolerance doesn’t work (because it’s zero intelligence), and that schools aren’t willing to apply any more nuanced program (mostly because of CYA, or “I vas just following orders”

            Gun safety training in school, along with sex education? This would at least reduce accidental discharges, especially if done at young ages too (along with swimming, as pools kill far more).

            Enforcement of the Full Faith and Credit Clause, so that licenses in one state have to be honored in another? It would only help a little, but zero cost.

            Get rid of laws and policies guaranteeing defenseless victims? You’d probably also want a robust concealed carry law to go with this one.

            Free mental healthcare an immunity to commitment to anyone who checks themselves in? Far too many don’t seek help because all it takes is one badly motivated doctor to lose your ability to protect yourself.

            Sheriff firearm holding program, so you can check in your guns and get them back at any time? Traveling and don’t want to take them with you, or leave them at home where they could be stolen? Have the Sheriff hold them. Going through a rough spot and want someone to hold your guns so you don’t do anything stupid? Same thing. Switching to a new medication that has an increased risk of suicide, and need someone to help get you through dose titration? Same thing. Many of us have buddies from the service who help with this, but not everyone is fortunate when they need it.

            Lots of things we could do that would help, at essentially no liberty cost. Those aren’t the things being proposed.

            1. “Enforcement of the Full Faith and Credit Clause, so that licenses in one state have to be honored in another? It would only help a little, but zero cost. ”

              I can’t back this one. If, say, NY wants to be picky about who gets licenses because NYC is very crowded and crowded people get on each others’ nerves, and that leads to people being willing to shoot at each other over a parking space, that’s OK. Laboratory of democracy. If another state, say, Wyoming, doesn’t have any NYC’s in it and therefore doesn’t have that concern, they can (and should) make different rules. But the fact that there are no NYCs in Wyoming doesn’t change the fact that there is one in NY.

              I grew up in Oregon, one of two states that thinks pumping your own gasoline might be too dangerous for ordinary folk. So, when I drove across the country, should that rule follow me? Every gas station along the Interstate where I pulled over, the gas station should have had an attendant there, ready to pump my gas? Or should each state, within its own borders, decide for itself whether or not to let people pump their own gas?

              1. I’m following you on the NYC issue, and I think the analogy would be to things like ATVs on the road. In AZ, AK, and many other states with both rural and urban settings ATVs can be driven on the road (with brake lights, plates, etc), but in states like CA with large areas of pure urbanism for hundreds of miles they cannot.

                The closer rule match would then be either a) licenses are valid in states with similar requirements (to be litigated) or b) licenses are valid in states with similar situations.

                For example, Arizona has areas with the population density of NY (but not NYC), so an AZ license would be valid in NY outside of NYC, but if the state of NY determined that a basic NY license wasn’t good enough to use in NYC they could apply that split to out of state licenses as well.

                Using the automobile analogies, a state could restrict licenses to certain population zones, or even classes of equipment (everyone gets to use autoloaders, but if you want to use a revolver you need a different license). But if they do so, they also have to make those additional incense levels available to non-residents, and cannot restrict non-residents more than they restrict residents.

                So if CA thinks that they should have a two-tiered licensing scheme, where type a licenses are valid only in rural counties, and type b licenses are valid in all counties, then they have to allow non-residents to obtain type b licenses in a ready and non-discriminatory fashion – which in practice would have to mean same day and no waiting periods.

      2. Well, that not quite true I think, but you have to get right out to the edges of firearm purpose optimization before you get to the point that a gun is actively better at offense than defense.

        Take the HK model 23 for example. It’s a great gun to fire, very reliable, accurate on both the first and follow up shots, but it’s really not a very good defensive gun – precisely because it’s heavily optimized for primary arm offensively use. Could you use it for personal defense? Sure, and it would work great – because it’s a great gun. But would it be a better gun for protection if it were lighter, didn’t have so much mass out front, didn’t have the breech locking capability? Totally. All of those features are designed for follow up shots, or single shots while suppressed, and add nothing to almost any personal defense situation.

        Should those features be banned? No, because gun choice is highly personal. The gun that works for me won’t necessarily work for my wife, while the gun that works for my cousin (6ft 9in) in Alaska is a 460 SW Magnum where polar bear are the primary risk, while his wife uses a shotgun and only carries a snub nose 357 – just enough to buy her time to get to a shotgun. Living in AZ, my wife carries a 1911 with snake shot as the first 4 rounds (pretty obvious why), followed by hollow points (javelina), while I carry a 9mm because while my wife is just as accurate regardless of caliber, I’m far more accurate with 9mm than I am with anything else.

      3. “It’s like saying ‘Cars should be able to drive fast so that you can drive a sick person to the hospital, but not fast such that you can speed away from cops.'”

        Given that spike strips exist, this is just an argument that run-flat tires should be restricted.

  12. I always consider such polls against the backdrop of those indicating how many Americans admit to being birthers (more than half of Republicans, at one point), acknowledge they believe fairy tales are true, claim that evolution is a demonic hoax (roughly half of Republicans), contend that Barack Obama is a Muslim, believe Hillary Clinton was involved in a child sex ring operating from a pizzeria basement, name Judy Sheindlin as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, or insist that human activity is not a cause of global warming.

    Plus, Rasmussen.

  13. You can get between a quarter and a third of the population to favor banning any controversial group. In other news, dog bites man. Film at eleven.

    1. The Volokh Conspiracy believes regular content such as this makes movement conservatism more popular. I sense it mostly lathers up the true believers.

  14. I consider anyone who wants to eliminate my 1st Amendment rights just because they don’t agree with my viewpoint to be a domestic terrorist, and they frighten me. Can I get their 1st Amendment rights curtailed so I’m no longer frightened?

  15. As with any poll, the way the question is framed can have a significant effect on the way people respond, and then the way other people summarize the results can be subjected to spin.

    My guess is, this poll got EXACTLY the results it was intended to produce.

  16. Yet more evidence that the founders were correct to fear and distrust direct (mob-rule) democracy.

  17. People need to stop giving this fake stats power. Last I checked I didn’t fill out any questionnaire about this. Stats are so horribly wrong a method to judge a topic by because it all depends on the groups of people your asking and the sample size. If you asked only a 100 people, most of which were going to a mainly left wing framed college, your gonna get a huge difference in replies versus going to a rural WalMart parking lot in Texas. I am a under 30s male, I do not own any guns, but I would like to for hunting and for eventually trying my hand at competition shooting for fun. I do not support any type of ban, or fines, or buybacks, or anything having to further restrict our right to own firearms. Just like I am not for restricting or harboring anyones freedom of speech, freedom from search and seizures without a warrant or any of our other rights. These rights are not only given to us by birth of being FREE HUMAN BEINGS but also our rights as dictated by our Bill of Rights and our Constitution. All these people, on both sides of the party, are just trying to manipulate people into thinking and following them blindly and stats like this are only helping further one sides agenda of controlling power. Because people who sit in the middle, and don’t research, will see this, and think “oh I guess the majority are thinking this way, so I guess I’ll follow.” Its misleading and its bad reporting. Polls only work when you cover enough peoples insight across a broad spectrum. Not targeted on certain groups or numbers. Like Francis O’Rourke stating that 90% of people support his plans, lying about stats is or making a thin veiled attempt to do polls that push your agenda is deceptive and wrong.

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