Some progress regarding people getting more accurate views on having guns in the home

Since 2000, the percentage of people who view having a gun as making a house more dangerous has fallen from 51 to 43 percent, while at the same time the percentage that view a gun as making a home safer has gone up from 35 to 47 percent. That is a 20 point swing in the polls during just six years. Most of the change in the polls had occurred by October 2004. The more interesting thing to me is that the people with the most familiarity with guns have the most accurate views on their costs and benefits. In rural area, 63 percent view guns as making people safer and 28 percent thing that they make homes less safe. Of course there is a big divide between men and women on this question.

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans are slightly more likely to believe that having a gun in the home makes it a safer rather than more dangerous place to be. This is a change from previous years, when at least a plurality of the public has agreed that guns make a home more dangerous rather than safer.

Gallup's annual Crime Poll, conducted Oct. 9-12, also shows a majority of Americans continuing to say that laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict rather than being made less strict or kept as they are now. This represents no basic change from previous polling.

Given a choice, a majority of Americans say that enforcing laws already on the books is a better approach than passing new laws in addition to enforcing old laws more strictly. About 4 out of 10 Americans report having a gun in the home at this point, particularly those living in rural areas and in the South.

Guns Make the Home Safer?

News reports recently focused on a new ordinance that was proposed by a city council member in Greenleaf, Idaho. The so-called Civil Emergencies Ordinance would -- among other things -- recommend gun ownership, along with ammunition and appropriate training, for each head of household who is legally eligible to own a gun. The ordinance is modeled after one enacted more than 20 years ago in Kennesaw, Ga., a town whose crime rate is reported to have dropped significantly after the new gun-ownership recommendations were put into law.

The new Gallup Poll suggests that the American public may see some wisdom in this type of approach to controlling crime.

A slight plurality of Americans now say that having a gun in the house makes it a safer, rather than more dangerous, place to be, marking a shift from the two previous times this question has been asked over the past six years. . . . .

Thanks very much to Michael Roth for sending this to me.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home