Gun-Rights Activists More Politically Engaged Than Gun Foes: Poll
By: Marc Schenker
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A new poll has confirmed what many in the anti-gun community have already feared: Their pro-gun counterparts are just a lot more politically engaged than they are. This new poll from the end of July comes on the back of an embarrassing, high-profile, legislative defeat for gun-control activists, as well as President Barack Obama’s retreat from the gun-control issue as he faces increasing criticism for his many political scandals.

The Pew Poll found a noteworthy inequality in the level of passion and enthusiasm between gun-rights supporters and anti-gun activists. Conservatives have already interpreted poll results such as these to mean that they will continue to win out over liberals in both state and federal battles regarding gun control. The results of the poll also help to explain why liberals have failed to capitalize on the Newton, Connecticut, school shooting from late December 2012 and turn that into a politically winning issue in support of tighter gun control.

The eye-opening poll results break down in the following manner. 25 percent of those respondents who say that gun rights are a priority for them have put their money behind their beliefs by contributing funds to an organization that is involved in the gun-rights debate. Conversely, just a measly 6 percent of gun-control activists say that they have done the same thing. Looked at in a different way, this indicates that 2nd-Amendment supporters are more than four times as likely to use their money to support organizations that are pro-gun than anti-gun activists are to give their money to gun-control groups.

That’s not the only advantage that pro-gun Americans enjoy over their anti-gun counterparts. The same poll also found that the efforts of pro-gun Americans extend well beyond just the money advantage. 16 percent of 2nd-Amendment supporters have actually gotten in touch with public officials to share their opinion about firearm policy, whereas just 11 percent of gun-control ideologues have done the same. This means that gun-rights supporters exert more influence with lawmakers.

Even in the realm of social media, gun-rights supporters have their anti-gun counterparts soundly beaten. The poll determined that almost 25 percent of gun-rights supporters have utilized social media sites like Twitter or Facebook to express a pro-gun opinion, but only 14 percent of gun-control ideologues have done the same thing on those sites.

Those who own guns are also likelier to sign petitions in favor of gun rights by 6 percentage points over gun-control activists who’d be inclined to sign anti-gun petitions. Finally, by 41 percent to 31 percent, gun owners see the gun-rights issue as a make-or-break issue. Put another way, 41 percent of gun owners wouldn’t vote for a candidate who was in favor of gun control, but only 31 percent of anti-gun activists wouldn’t vote for a candidate who was in favor of gun rights.

Though the Democrats have faltered badly in their gun-control push thus far, the battle is hardly over. Top Democrats have promised in recent months to renew their fight for gun control, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns—the Michael Bloomberg anti-gun group—is currently on a summer bus tour to push expanded background checks.



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