Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
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.
A new poll indicates only 1 in 5 gun owners would be willing to give up their firearms if the government demanded it.
“In other words, the government has a huge fight on its hands if it tries to implement a gun confiscation program,” said pollster Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies.
A surprisingly high percentage of those who call themselves “very liberal” also would not allow their guns to be confiscated, the poll shows.
“Given the deteriorating political climate for President Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill, it is hard to imagine any such effort gaining significant political support,” he said.
Nearly half of the nation’s households have at least one gun, according to a 2011 Gallup Poll. The 2010 U.S. Census counted nearly 115 million households. Since President Obama took office in 2009, more than 65 million background checks have been conducted on gun purchases.
The scientific telephone survey was conducted March 7-12 and has a margin of error of 2.92 percentage points.
“Among gun owners, 64 percent said they would not relinquish their guns, while 20 percent said they would and another 16 percent of gun owners were unsure on the question,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who has sponsored a bill that would ban certain types of weapons, said in Congress last week, “We cannot allow the carnage … to continue.”
She was speaking on behalf of her Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She invited several witnesses to testify, including Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, who argued “assault weapons are not built for sportsmen.”
Flynn said that type of weapon is “designed for combat” and must be “restricted.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, thought it was a silly plan.
“We do not need to target … restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens,” he said.
He cited numerous government reports demonstrating that the original “assault weapons” ban was not effective in curbing gun violence.
He said Congress should target criminals rather than the Second Amendment.
As the debate commences at the federal level on restricting private firearm ownership, the battles have already begun at the state level, where Democrats in Missouri and Oregon have introduced legislation to ban “assault weapons.”
In contrast, states such as Wyoming, Texas and Alaska are moving to pass legislation to protect citizens from any federal gun confiscation laws.
According to the Wenzel poll, 36 percent of Democrats and 10 percent of Republicans would give up their guns if ordered. Independents line up with Republicans on the issue.
The breakdown by political persuasion proved interesting. Among “conservatives,” only 9 percent would relinquish their guns while 65 percent would not. Among moderates, 23 percent would give up their guns and 41 percent would refuse. Among “liberals,” 40 percent would yield to the government and 12 percent would refuse.
But for the “very liberal,” while 38 percent would give up their guns, more than 24 percent would refuse.
Nearly 60 percent of men would refuse, as would 35 percent of women. Regionally, 60 percent of Southerners would refuse. Other regions ranged from 41 percent in the Midwest who would refuse to give up their guns to 42 percent in the East and 45 percent in the West.
Blacks, Hispanics and Asians all would be relatively ready to give up weapons, while among whites, only 14 percent said they would.
The poll question was: “There has been a lot of discussion about guns and possible government action to restrict their availability and regulate their use in the wake of the shooting in Connecticut. If the government demanded you surrender your firearms, would you give them up?”
Feinstein hasn’t been consistent regarding guns:
At a U.S. Senate hearing on terrorism after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, she told “a little anecdote” of how she carried concealed to protect herself after two assassination attempts by the New World Liberation Front, the NWLF.
She explained: “I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that’s what I did. I was trained in firearms. I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me.”
Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, asked in an interview with WND, “Do we need any more proof that she is a hypocrite?”
Hammond said Feinstein “has no problem getting Congress to buy armed guards for Capitol Hill.”
“Does she consider herself more precious and more valuable than our children?” he asked.
She championed her private firearm ownership the same year she called for banning “all” firearm ownership.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” in 1995 she said, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States, for an outright ban, picking up every one of them. Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in, I would have done it.”