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Editor’s note: This is another in a series of “WND/WENZEL POLLS” conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.
The seeds of a tyrannical government are present in the United States, with a citizenry happy with a heavily armed law enforcement presence and a disbelief that their government could do anything that would make them want to revolt, according to a new poll.
“America is largely satisfied with the buildup of military-style equipment and armaments by local law enforcement agencies around the country, as 73 percent said they believe these local and state police agencies should possess such equipment,” wrote Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies, a public-opinion research and media consulting company.
His latest results of questions asking Americans what they think about their government, guns, the Second Amendment and their own futures was just released.
He said only 21 percent disagreed that their local officers should be heavily armed.
“This is perhaps because, the survey shows, a wide majority of Americans doubt their local or state police would ever engage in the imposition of some sort of martial law. Such imposition would severely restrict personal freedoms, but 59 percent said they just don’t think such a thing would happen here in America,” he continued.
“That is largely because 51 percent said they cannot conceive of any circumstances or actions by government that would so cause them to agree it is time for a citizen revolution against the government. Just 18 percent said they could conceive of something the government could do to cause them to want to revolt.
“This is a testament to the longstanding stability that the country has known, but also spells a risk of tyranny. If government leaders know the citizenry is unwilling to revolt and they know their law enforcement agencies are well-equipped to put down any uprising with military-style weaponry, one could argue that those leaders might be tempted to impose tyranny on the country in some form or another,” he said.
The telephone survey of registered voters nationwide was conducted Jan. 9-12, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.22 percentage points.
The poll revealed widespread belief that the Second Amendment, which gives Americans the right, “which shall not be infringed,” to hold and bear arms, really is for self-protection and hunting, not for “fighting back against a tyrannical government.”
That, he said, “demonstrates the downside of more than 230 years of government stability. This survey shows it is hard for many Americans to think of a situation in which their government would need to be overthrown. Of course, the last time there was a serious fight for the future of the federal government, in the Civil War, Washington won.”
Nearly 47 percent said the Second Amendment is for hunting and self-protection, while only 8 percent believe it provides a defense for citizens against a tyranny. Four in 10 say it serves both purposes.
Wenzel noted that a significant majority, 69 percent, said the amendment should be kept, while 22 percent said it should be ignored or repealed.
“This is a very strong message to lawmakers and leaders in Washington should tread very carefully as they draft new legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings,” Wenzel said.
“What is also interesting about this survey is that it shows that most Americans understand that a firearm is merely a tool – albeit an efficient one – in the hands of a person intent on harming others. Seven out of 10 respondents said they think that, if a person who wants to harm others does not have a gun available, that he would find another weapon to use. Just 18 percent said they think such a person would give up,” Wenzel explained.
“While some leaders in Washington want to place bans on guns and ammunition, it is clear that most Americans think more focus should be on the person holding the gun.”
Forty-eight percent said gun bans are a bad idea, while 39 percent support such bans. And the survey showed that 56 percent believe that if guns are banned, “criminals would take advantage of an unarmed citizenry and increase their attacks because they know potential victims cannot protect themselves.
“It appears that most Americans are aware of the experiences of Chicago and Washington, D.C., two cities with very strict gun laws that also suffer from a violent crime rate far above the national average,” Wenzel said.
Wenzel said a cause for alarm is that four in 10 said “they favor banning ammo or taxing it so heavily that it becomes impractical to buy it.”
Nearly six in 10 Democrats thought this was a good idea, he noted.
The registration of all firearms with the federal government was supported by 55 percent, while only 38 percent opposed it, he said.
“It is clear that Americans believe in the Second Amendment, but they also want something done to prevent another Sandy Hook shooting. They want more of an emphasis on the people who create these tragedies, just as national lawmakers and leaders appear ready to forget the evil people who wield these weapons in their race to attack the individual freedoms outlined in our founding documents,” Wenzel said.
See detailed results of survey questions:
I have a question about the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees American citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Which of the following perspectives do you believe about the Second Amendment – do you believe it exists to allow Americans to have small arms for hunting and self-protection, or do you believe it exists to give Americans the ability to defend themselves against government if it becomes tyrannical? Or do you believe it exists for both?
If a person who is intent on harming others does not have a firearm available, do you think it is more likely that this perseon will use a different weapon to harm others, or do you think that the would simply give up the idea of hurting other people?
Those who favor bans on firearms say the bans will make people safer because there would be fewer guns available. Those who oppose bans say that if weapons are banned for law-abiding citizens, only criminals will have guns and crime would increase because criminals would be more likely to use them, knowing victims would have no guns to protect themselves. Which of these statements do you believe is more true?
Some have said that one way around the constitutional guarantee to allow firearm ownership is to ban ammunition, or to tax it so heavily as to make its purchase impractical. Do you favor or oppose this type of legislative action?
Thinking about local police forces around the country, the federal government has largely funded a major buildup among city and state police forces in the amount of military-style equipment. Do you agree or disagree that local and state forces should possess military-style armaments?
Some fear that this buildup of military-style equipment by city and state law enforcement agencies makes it more likely that, sometime in the next few years, the government may use this force as part of an effort to impose a type of martial law on their citizens that severely restricts personal freedoms to move about town, travel, or to freely associate with other like-minded individuals. What do you think is the likelihood of this scenario?
Are there any circumstances or actions that our government might take against its own citizens in modern American society that you believe would cause you to agree it is time for citizens to stage a revolution against the government?
THE FULL STORY ON OBAMA’S MASSIVE GUN GRAB:
See WND’s latest columns on gun control:
Guns don’t kill people, the mentally ill do by Ann Coulter
What happened to Lanza’s 4 handguns? by Jack Cashill
The consequences of volatile speech by Phil Elmore
It’s all about safety by Craige McMillan
Guns and government by Andrew Napolitano
‘Gun Culture’ – what about the ‘Fatherless Culture’? by Larry Elder