A new USA Today/Ipsos poll administered to 1,117 respondents this past weekend reported that half of Republicans “support stricter gun laws.”
Those numbers seem to indicate that a large chunk of Republicans strongly support Democrats’ anti-gun agenda and could be used as political leverage to convince wavering Republicans in Congress to rethink their historical backing of Second Amendment rights. And that’s exactly what USA Today not-so-subtly tried to do in its recent article “Half of Republicans support stricter gun laws, a double-digit jump in a year.”
“The increase in GOP support — from 35% last year to 50% — could boost the prospects for Congress to tighten federal gun laws, an effort that has failed for decades,” the article argued.
Even if those results are accurate — which is highly unlikely and something Americans should never assume about polls, especially after the 2020 election — further down in the article, you see that both Democrats and Republicans don’t actually think guns are the driving factor for shootings like those in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
At least 80 percent of red and blue voters agree that the “mental health system bears at least some responsibility for mass shootings.” More than 50 percent of Republicans and Democrats also blame violent video games for the rise in shootings in movie theaters, grocery stores, churches, schools, and other public areas.
There’s still an alarming number, two-thirds, of Democrats who think former President Donald Trump, who has been out of office for nearly a year and a half, is somewhat to blame for recent shooting tragedies (which further reveals the absurdity of these polls). Approximately 42 percent of Republicans say they blame President Joe Biden, a number that’s risen significantly since last year when it was 27 percent. A high percentage of Democrats are also more likely to think that factors such as racism and white nationalism were the root cause of these shootings.
The bottom line is that voters, even those who claim to support vague calls for “stricter gun laws,” understand that restricting law-abiding citizens’ gun rights isn’t going to solve the evil, fundamental motivations fueling the criminals who unleash gunfire on other Americans.
As The Federalist’s Elle Reynolds noted, even though there’s been a rise in deadly shootings in the last 20 years, “the firearms that civilians have access to today are not significantly deadlier than the ones that were manufactured for civilian use over half a century ago.” This signals a problem much bigger than lethal weapons and one that certainly won’t be solved by Biden’s lie-riddled gun rhetoric.