Editor’s Note: This is another in a series of reports on the polling by Clout Research, a national opinion research firm in Columbus, Ohio, for WND.
Americans are divided politically, right vs. left and Republican vs. Democrat, over race relations, foreign policy, Obamacare, the economy and much more.
But probably nowhere is the divide more stark than over the issue of guns.
For example, a new poll shows that 9.2 percent of Republicans are much more likely to favor stricter gun control because of recent terror attacks on Obama’s watch.
For Democrats, the figure was nearly 61 percent.
Likewise, 61.3 percent of Republicans say they are much less likely to favor stricter gun control because of the terror attacks.
For Democrats, it was 9.3 percent, leaving the two political parties almost polar opposites of each other on the issue.
But the results also reveal that while many Democrats say they think the government can protect them from terror, and more gun limits would be a good thing, about one-third also want firearms for the protection of themselves and their families.
Some 74 percent of Democrats are confident their government can protect them, and more than 75 percent want more gun laws. But more than 36 percent said they are now more likely to buy a gun for their own protection.
The results are from a new WND/Clout poll by Clout Research, a national opinion research firm in Columbus, Ohio. The telephone survey of registered voters was taken Dec. 18-27, except for the holiday, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.35 percentage points.
Fritz Wenzel, chief of the polling organization, said the results reflect a wariness on the part of many Americans – at least the Republican Americans – about whether their government actually can perform its constitutional responsibility and protect them.
“Americans distrust their government when it comes to their own physical protection, so they are turning in record numbers to protecting themselves with firearms,” he said. “Fifty-eight percent of respondents nationwide said they are more inclined to purchase firearms for their own protection in light of recent terrorism.
“At the same time, half of the respondents said they favor stricter gun control after these attacks,” he said.
“The picture is painted completely with the data point from our survey that shows 55 percent have little or no confidence in the federal government’s ability to protect us from future terrorist attacks. Simply put, Americans appear intent to do whatever it takes to take care of their family, especially in light of the perceived failure of the government to take appropriate steps to protect the nation.”
The poll showed only 3.7 percent of Republicans are highly confident in the federal government’s ability and commitment to protecting Americans from future terror attacks.
Nearly 44 percent of Democrats subscribed to that position.
At the far end of the scale, 82 percent of Republicans were not very or not at all confident of Washington’s ability and commitment to protect them.
For Democrats, their contingent of doubters amounted to only a little over 23 percent.
About 77 percent of Republicans said they are more inclined to buy a firearm in the wake of recent terrorism.
More than one-third of Democrats admitted that they are more inclined to a firearm purchase that would provide protection for themselves and their families.
Wenzel put the issue of guns and gun control in a broader perspective.
“The survival of their own family may be at stake. Four years ago there were many conservative voters who refused to go to the polls in support of Republican Mitt Romney because they did not believe he was conservative enough to satisfy their ideological standards, and what we all got as a result was a wasteland economy, an unsafe America, and continued governmental failure in Washington that could lead to our ruin as a nation,” he said.
“This year, Republicans could well end up with a presidential nominee who is even less conservative than Romney. If these ideological purists again sit on the sideline and let leftists decide the presidency, they will be the ones who should be held to account. These survey findings show that this time the presidential election is serious – and for conservatives, the time of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good is long past,” he said.
Obama has used mass shootings to promote gun control.
Meanwhile, Fortune reported gun sales, which have been rising “almost every year for the past decade,” are on course to set multiple records in 2015.
“So far this year, excluding December, 19.7 million background checks have been initiated,” the report said. “That is over 775,000 more than any other year, including what Fortune reported to be a record-breaking Black Friday. Every month since May has seen a record number of checks, and December will likely be no different.”
From 2007, just before Obama took office, to 2014, when he was midway through his second term, gun sales doubled, the report said, prompting some commentators to describe Obama as the best gun salesman ever.
Minorities appeared to line up with Democrats regarding their confidence in the federal government for personal security.
Nearly 76 percent of blacks, nearly 47 percent of Hispanics and 55 percent of Asians said they were confident of the government’s ability to protect them. All subcategories were in the 50 percent to 60 percent range for their support for additional gun controls.
One place where the fight over guns has reached a flash point is Virginia, where leading Republicans are pushing a measure that would strip the Democrat governor of his protective detail.
The move developed in response to Attorney General Mark Herring’s unilateral curb on Second Amendment concealed-carry rights for residents of 25 other states who travel through the commonwealth.
Herring, in a statement of his solo gun-control measure, said: “Our General Assembly has already identified who can and cannot conceal handguns in Virginia, and we cannot have that decision undermined by recognizing permits from other states with more permissive standards,” the Daily Caller reported.
But Republican Sen. Bill Carrico said to the Herald Courier he will present a budget amendment this month to defund Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s protective detail.
“A lot of the governor’s power is deferred to the General Assembly at that point and I’ll be getting with my colleagues to circumvent everything this governor has done on this point,” Carrico said, the Daily Caller reported. “I have a budget amendment that I’m looking at to take away his executive protection unit. If he’s so afraid of guns, then I’m not going to surround him with armed state policemen.”
See the results: