President Obama has failed to convince the public on key gun control positions he has advocated, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.
Despite years of speeches, addresses, events and a legislative push, President Obama has failed to convince the public on key gun control positions that he has advocated, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.
Just 42% of the public thinks stricter gun control laws will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, while 52% think increased gun ownership increases public safety.
The poll also found that 42% of adults say that they or someone in their household owns a gun, and 28% say they are planning to buy one; 55% of them say that it is for "security or protection." Among married women, 49% say that they or someone in their house owns a gun.
The public also overwhelmingly agrees with gun-rights groups that the Second Amendment "will always be a relevant and necessary safeguard against tyranny." Fully 72% side with that view. Support for this view crosses demographic and ideological lines — 52% of Democrats feel this way, as do 52% of those who don't own or plan to buy a gun.
Overall, just 23% of those polled think that the Second Amendment "is no longer relevant or necessary in modern-day America."
Minds Haven't Changed
The IBD/TIPP findings come after years of public appeals by Obama for stricter gun control laws and after his latest round of executive actions meant to impose stricter rules on gun sales.
But Obama's pleadings appear to have done little to change minds about guns. Democrats have always been with him — more than two-thirds of them believe that increased gun ownership leads to higher incidence of crime, a position that Obama has staked out. But only 13% of Republicans and 31% of independents feel this way.
In contrast, 57% of independents and 80% of Republicans believe that more guns leads to less crime.
And while 72% of Democrats believe that stricter gun control laws would significantly cut crime and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, only 14% of Republicans and 35% of independents feel this way.
A similar divide shows up between "red" and "blue" states. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of red-state adults say that more guns mean less crime, for example, but only 46% of those living in blue states feel that way.
In many ways, Obama's aggressive gun control push appears to have backfired. His attempt to get gun control legislation through Congress went nowhere, and even gun control advocates admit that his executive actions regarding gun sales wouldn't have prevented the mass shootings in recent years.
Obama Fuels Gun Sales
In addition, gun sales have been at record levels since Obama took office. FBI data show that it conducted twice as many background checks in 2015 as in 2009. And stock prices for gun makers are up significantly over the past year. Smith & Wesson(NASDAQ:SWHC) shares are 123% higher than 52 weeks ago; Sturm Ruger (NYSE:RGR) shares are up 54%. The S&P 500 is down 6.7% vs. a year earlier.
Public support for gun control is at record lows, according to the Roper Survey, which found that more Americans oppose stricter gun control legislation in October 2015 than support it. Opposition to gun bans is at its highest levels since Roper started tracking it. Gallup polling saw a bump in support for gun control last fall, but it is still well below previous levels.
Even Obama's attempts to demonize the National Rifle Association have made little headway with the public. At a town hall meeting sponsored by CNN , for example, Obama repeatedly complained about the NRA, at one point implying that it has "a stranglehold on Congress in this debate" and has thwarted "sensible" reforms. But Gallup finds that 58% supported the NRA last fall, up from 54% in 2012 and 52% in 2000.
The IBD/TIPP Poll was taken from Jan. 4-7 by live interviewers using both land and cell phones. It has a sample size of 748 adults nationwide with a margin of error plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.