Poll shows even NRA members support stricter gun control laws

Even before the tragedy in Colorado last week, significant majorities of American gun owners (and even National Rifle Association members) supported tougher gun laws in the U.S.

As reported by the folks at Think Progress, both groups strongly support tougher laws, including requiring people to notify police when their firearms are stolen and placing modest regulations on “concealed carry” permit holders. The findings come on top of other broader surveys that show Americans generally support tougher laws even as they support a general right to bear arms.

Of course, all of this is very modest. No one is suggesting or proposing any kind of significant effort to fundamentally alter the American landscape when it comes to firearms. What it does show, however, is that most Americans (gun owners and non-gun owners alike) still harbor a lot of common sense on this issue.

They realize that there must be some limits on weapons ownership. Even the most ardent gun advocate must concede, for example, that the public has a right to place limits on private ownership of artillery guns, bazookas, and bombs if our society is to remain free. And they realize that it is possible to protect gun rights and reduce the carnage on our streets. Let’s hope this simple truth sinks into the heads of our political leaders sooner rather than later.  



  1. Frank Burns

    July 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I believe some restrictions on gun ownership with regards to automatic weapons, machine guns, grenade launchers, etc are appropriate and prudent. These measures would not impact hunters or impose on the right to bear arms. We don’t allow citizens to buy explosives without strict permitting and oversight to protect the public from the risk of misuse and their abuse. We should apply the same standards to automatic weapons designed for military use due to the high risk they impose on the public. There is a difference between weapons used to protect oneself and to hunt, versus weapons that are designed for mass killings.

  2. Rob Schofield

    July 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I’m gonna’ frame your comment and save it for posterity Frank.

  3. Jack

    July 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Senator Pearce of Arizona should be ashamed of himself. He posted on his Facebook:

    “Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this “bad” man from most of this tragedy. He was two and three feet away from folks, I understand he had to stop and reload. Where were the men of flight 93????,” There is more but I assure you it is a stupid and hard-hearted as the above.

    When confronted about his posting he went on the defensive. “All I did was lament that so many people should be left disarmed and vulnerable by anti-gun rules that try to create a sense of safety by posting a sign language interpreter that says “No Guns”, when the only real effect is to disarm everyone who could have saved lives.”

    Pearce isn’t a political leader he’s a self-absorbed heard hearted individual that got elected to office by voters who believe as he does. On July 20 12 people died and 58 were wounded. Does the senator know the carnage that is created by a cross of weapons? Where were the men he wrote – some of the men gave their lives so that other might live – that’s where they were.

    Unless you are trained and have a good deal of experience with bullet flying by your head you don’t run toward bullets you run away from them and seek safety. My guess is that if Pearce would have been in the theater that night he wouldn’t have run toward the terrorist.

    For many talking the talk is more fun and exciting then walking the walk. At the very least Pearce is an idiot.

    Thanks for your comment Frank.

  4. Sean D Sorrentino

    July 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    It entertains me to hear you leftists touting a bought and paid for poll. Now put it into practice. If you’ve got the public will, you should have no problem getting the voters to put pressure on the politicians.

    Except you don’t really have the votes. When I was a kid and someone said something like this we would tell them “put up or shut up.” Perhaps a more adult way to put it would be “Prove it.” You think you could get the votes to push for ANY gun control, prove it.

    There’s this little election we’re having in a few months. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. All you have to do is loudly make the case that voting for will be a vote for gun control. Then we watch as your side gets destroyed in the election. You’ll keep your pet lefties in safe districts, but no one with any sense tries to push gun control outside of those enclaves because they want to get elected.

    And that is the critical difference between your poll and reality. You wave polls, we wave votes. Votes win.

    And Frank? The Second Amendment doen’t have anything to do with hunting. George Washington didn’t cross the Delaware to get to his duck blind. He crossed it to slaughter as many Hessians as he could find while they were sleeping off their hangovers on the morning after Christmas in Trenton. We have a Second Amendment to make sure that the people retain the ability to slaughter as many of their enemies as is necessary to retain their freedom. We all pray that it will never happen again, but if there needs to be some mass killing, it’s best we are armed for it.

  5. Frank Burns

    July 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I understand that George Washington crossed the Delaware to attack the enemy not to play tiddlywinks. It was a military action and he needed the best available technology to accomplish his mission. The doomsday scenario that you use for the justification for citizens to hold automatic weapons is not a big risk. The bigger risk is mass destruction of citizens by nuts or by Islamist terrorists who happen to buy a machine gun or automatic weapon. Placing restrictions on those weapons does not violate the right to bear arms, just not automatic weapon arms. Automatic weapons are military weapons and are not appropriate for private citizens.

  6. Sean D Sorrentino

    July 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    #1, who’s “Vince.”

    #2, do you have any idea what the controls are on “automatic” weapons? Let’s define our terms lest we find we are arguing over two different things.

    Semi-Auto – Pull the trigger once, get one shot. Pull it again, get another shot. Repeat until magazine/tube/whatever is empty.

    Full-Auto – Pull the trigger once and get MORE than one shot. Some are mechanically set up to shoot three times per pull of the trigger (like the M-16 that the Army uses) and some are set up to keep shooting until you let off the trigger or the feeding device runs out.

    Semi-auto rifles are available for purchase with a simple NICS check (That’s when the gun store calls the FBI and asks if you’re an ok guy) This is what the Colorado shooter had. It’s what everyone has. The AR-15 pattern rifle is the single most popular rifle in the United States.

    Full auto weapons of any sort are subject to Federal regulation (in addition to state laws) and are required to be registered with the BATF. They have to have been manufactured before May 19, 1986, and you have to have a full Federal background check to purchase one. It takes about 6-9 months to get this background check, the numbers of weapons available are very few, and costs are astronomical. You can get a really nice AR-15 for about $1000. Cheap versions are available for abot $800. The cheapest possible full-auto weapon you can buy is something like a MAC-10, and they run about $2,500. And that doesn’t include the $200 you have to pay the Feds for the background check and tax. If you want a full auto version of an AR-15, it will set you back about over $15,000. They don’t even tell you what they want for them. “Email for Price” the ads all say. Google “Transferable machinegun” for a sample.

    You are arguing something that isn’t even at issue. You are arguing that guns that no one but rich people can afford should not be sold to anyone in a gun store cash and carry. Well this isn’t an issue as they take a minimum of 6 months of waiting for the BATF to finish your paperwork and more money than you or I have put together.

    Plus, what’s your beef with regular citizens owning full auto weapons anyway? The Second Amendment makes clear that the purpose for owning weapons is a military one, so why can’t we regular citizens own military grade hardware?

  7. Frank Burns

    July 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Sorry I called you Vince. I used to work with a guy named Vince Sorrentino. As an Army veteran, I understand weapons. I’m glad to hear there are tighter controls on automatic weapons as they pose the greatest risk for mass killings. It’s the semi automatic weapon which can hold a magazine of 20 to 30 rounds is also a big risk to the public based on what just happened in Colorado. I see the need to restrict the type of weapons that the public can purchase so we reduce risk to the public for mass killings. I’m surprised the risk of mass killings doesn’t concern you.

  8. Sean D Sorrentino

    July 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Why should it concern me? “Mass” killings are quite rare. It would make more sense to try to identify the crazy people than it would to restrict the rights of everyone. It would be more humane as well. Decent people try to take care of the mentally infirm. We shouldn’t dump them on the street and hope that they magically get better. But that’s what we actually do.

    As for how many rounds I can fit in my magazines, that’s not for you to decide. Sure having 30 rounds makes it easier to kill a lot of people. Sometimes you NEED to kill a lot of people. And even if you don’t ever run into that particular situation, it’s nice to know that you can handle it if it comes up.

    If you are legally and morally justified in taking a life, then it doesn’t really matter how you do it. I’d prefer to be able to do it in the easiest way possible. Plenty of times the sort of people that need to be killed have friends who are equally in need of having their birth certificate revoked.

    Plus, again, it’s a weapon that’s useful in a military role. The 2nd Amendment guarantees “Arms” and it does so in support of the militia. That means military arms.

  9. Frank Burns

    July 25, 2012 at 7:19 am

    It could be now that mass killings are becoming more common, it’s easy to do it as we’ve seen in Colorado. How many of these type of shootings would you be able to tolerate, 2 per year, 3 per year? I don’t know of any practical way to identify crazy people or Islamist fanatics, it seems more practical to restrict the AR 15 type weapons to military only and prohibit private ownership of them.

  10. Sean D Sorrentino

    July 25, 2012 at 7:30 am

    It could be? Come on, Frank. Facts, statistics, show me the increase.

    I’ll give you a hint. They aren’t increasing because the number of loons who try this sort of thing isn’t increasing. They are sort of limited biologically. You have to be seriously off in the head to even contemplate doing something like this, and that sort of mental illness doesn’t get taught. You have to be born with it.

    And it might seem practical to you to try to restrick ownership, but there are millions of the things in circulation, and we aren’t giving them back. Trying to take them will provoke a shooting war. Assuming that you could possibly get such a limitation past the Supreme Court. You remember the whole “in common use” test that was contained in the Heller decision? The AR-15 is the single most popular rifle type in the USA. It’s clearly in “common use.”

    So legally you’ve got nothing. And, practically speaking, you’re facing long and difficult odds trying to actually confiscate them. Are YOU going to go door to door collecting them? Probably not. So who are you going to order to do it for you? Do you really want a civil war over this?

  11. david esmay

    July 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Sean has made it easier for us to identify at least one crazy person.

  12. Jack

    July 25, 2012 at 9:48 am

    “Sometimes you NEED to kill a lot of people.” Are you speaking from experience Sean?

    Not sure what you mean by “quite rare” but mass killings are not that rare in the U.S.

    Timothy McVeigh – killed 168

    Dennis Rader – “BTK killer” killed 10

    Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold – killed 13

    Seung-Hui Cho – killed 32

    One Goh – killed 7

  13. Frank Burns

    July 25, 2012 at 10:29 am

    10 people killed in beltway sniper shooting by Malvo, 13 killed at Ft Hood by Islamist fanatic, 6 killed at Gabrielle Giffords shooting. It’s more than you think

  14. Sean D Sorrentino

    July 25, 2012 at 11:16 am

    We have a country of more than 300 Million people. When we start to see these events on a monthly basis, then we can talk about it being common.

    Secondly, look at the reaction. Gun sales are up 61% in Colorado. Unless you are going to posit that these sales were to people who already had guns and suddenly felt that only two guns would protect them, you’re going to have to accept that they are going to new owners. This is backed up by the reports of sudden spikes in Concealed Carry training requests that they are getting in Colorado.

    From a practical standpoint, you’re seeing the opposite reaction to the one you want. You want people to be horrified, blame guns, and seek to ban them. What you’re seeing is people are horrified, they blame the psycho, and get a gun as their last line of defense. The biggest problem that concealed carry ever had was not legal, it was cultural. Too many people thought that carrying a gun was a bad idea. Now they are reconsidering. Most importantly, their wives, sisters, and mothers are reconsidering. Once these formerly Non-Gun people get the guns in their hands and get over their initial fears, your anti-gun arguments fall flat. And worst of all from your point of view is that they tell all their friends that they went shooting. And then they take their friends shooting. And suddenly you’ve got Susie the Office Worker showing Jane the school guidance counselor how to shoot that AR-15. You can work out the implications on your own.

    The AR-15 is light, easy to fire, low recoil, and is generally equipped with an adjustable stock nowadays. That means the ladies, who are generally smaller, have shorter arms, and have a lower tolerance for recoil will like shooting them. There are many ladies who won’t touch their husband or father’s deer gun but will happily blast away with an AR.

    You’ve lost this argument (let’s ban guns, especially anti-personnel guns like pistols and “assault weapons”) legally, but most importantly you’ve lost it culturally.

  15. Paul

    July 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Perhaps you should educate yourself on the facts before you make statements like:
    “When we start to see these events on a monthly basis, then we can talk about it being common.”
    You might want to pick up a copy of the current Newsweek and look at page 29. I guess according to your standards it must be time to begin that talk.

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