By: Peter Suciu
More Americans now agree that additional gun control efforts won't do much to reduce gun violence. That is the finding of a new poll conducted earlier last month by the Trafalgar Group. It found that eight in ten U.S. voters believe that strict gun control laws in major cities either make no difference in the current surge in retail crime or could even make it worse.
A total of 47.1 percent of respondents from all political affiliations said that strict gun laws in major cities would make no difference, while 37.3 percent even said that gun control could worsen the problem. Just 15.6 percent of American voters said they believed gun laws could address the retail crime surge, including "flash mob-style" crime grabs.
The poll further found that large numbers of likely Democrat, Republican, and Independent voters believed that strict gun laws were largely ineffective, while it was only some Democrats who found such laws to be helpful. Even then, the poll numbers were lower than might be expected, with just 30.1 percent of likely Democrats agreeing that strict gun laws could successfully help address the retail crime surge, while only 9.8 percent of Independents and a mere 7.3 percent of Republicans stated the same.
Pollster Robert Cahaly, who founded Trafalgar Group in 2016, told The Washington Times that the findings of the poll, conducted Dec. 12 to 22, echo a recent polling trend that shows a growing voter backlash against progressive police reform policies.
"There seems to be a growing consensus among urban residents that less police, releasing criminals and failure to prosecute are making them feel less safe," Cahaly explained. "They are frustrated that unlike most who live in rural and suburban areas, city residents don't feel they have the right to protect themselves due to gun restrictions that only hurt law-abiding citizens."
Other Polls, Similar Findings
Were this one poll, it could be dismissed as having skewed questions or that the sampling of Americans participating may have been biased. Yet, that was not the case. In fact, the findings from the Trafalgar Group echo other recent polls that have also found that support for gun control has largely been on the decline across the country. A Quinnipiac poll from late November found that 47 percent of registered voters supported calls for more gun control, while 48 percent were opposed – the lowest level of support for gun control since late 2015 in Quinnipiac's annual polling.
Moreover, a Gallup poll, also from November, found that 52 percent of Americans were in favor of stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, but that was actually down from 57 percent in 2020 and 64 percent in 2019. That was the lowest level of support in the annual Gallup poll since 2014.
Even those who may support calls for gun control currently disapprove of how the White House has tackled the issue. An ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted earlier last month found that only 33 percent of Americans had approved of how President Biden has handled the issue of gun violence, while 66 percent currently disapprove.
Finally, an early December I&I/TIPP poll found that just 22 percent of Americans even want Biden to run for president again, and the numbers are significantly worse for Vice President Kamala Harris, with just 12 percent saying they'd vote for her. The numbers were actually worse for other Democrats – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg garnered 4 percent of support, while New York Rep. Andrea Ocasio-Cortez, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy, and Georgia 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams each attracted 3 percent of the support.
Such numbers aren't particularly surprising, but it shows that Americans are having a serious case of "voter remorse," and Biden's handling of the pandemic, the supply chain, and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan have all been factors. And clearly the issue of gun control isn't something that Americans are likely to unify around – certainly not as much as President Biden might hope.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.