We're NOT crazy: Rasmussen: 65% See Gun Rights as Protection Against Tyranny
Friday, 18 Jan 2013 10:52 AM
By Newsmax Wires
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65 percent of American Adults think the purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that people are able to protect themselves from tyranny. Only 17 percent disagree, while another 18 percent are not sure.
Not surprisingly, 72 percent of those with a gun in their family regard the Second Amendment as a protection against tyranny. However, even a majority (57 percent) of those without a gun in their home hold that view.
Many gun control advocates talk of the right to gun ownership as relating to hunting and recreational uses only.
While there are often wide partisan differences of opinion on gun-related issues, even 54 percent of Democrats agree with 75 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of those not affiliated with either major party that the right to own a gun is to ensure such freedom.
As Americans search for answers to the Newtown shooting, attitudes on gun ownership are “not likely to change in a nation where six out of 10 adults would rather live in a neighborhood where they can own a gun and most would feel safer if their children attended a school with an armed security guard.” Scott Rasmussen explains in his latest weekly newspaper column that if Congress is “not willing to go as far as the president wants on gun control, perhaps they… might take stronger action on mental health issues or increase the penalties for crimes committed with a gun.”
In the wake of last month’s horrific elementary school massacre in Connecticut, 51 percent favor stricter gun control laws. There is strong support for background checks of gun owners, but a plurality believes dealing with mental health issues will lead to more effective results. Fifty-nine percent think Congress and President Barack Obama are likely to create stricter gun control laws.
Seventy-four percent of all Americans continue to believe that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of an average citizen to own a gun. Just 17 percent disagree. These views haven’t changed in nearly four years of surveying.
The NRA is now viewed favorably by 49 percent of Americans and unfavorably by 41 percent. This includes 25 percent with a Very Favorable opinion of the influential gun-rights organization and 23 percent with a Very Unfavorable one. The NRA’s favorables are down slightly from 54 percent in July 2011, but its unfavorable are unchanged.
Sixty-six percent of Likely U.S. Voters believe in America today there is too much government power and too little individual freedom. Sixty percent feel the federal government today does not have the consent of the governed.
Americans are now evenly divided over whether the federal government is a protector of individual rights or a threat to those rights.
But even before the Newtown shootings, Americans rated the freedoms of speech and religion as more important the freedom of the press and the right to bear arms. Seventeen percent believe there is too much individual freedom in the United States today.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on January 16-17, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.