A Monmouth Poll released in the last week showed support for an assault weapons ban had dropped in the last year by nine percentage points to 46%. Meanwhile, those opposed to such a ban reached 49%.
We do not doubt the numbers. In fact, it gives us more resolve to keep pushing the issue.
Our main premise in our series of opinion pieces over the last month is Americans have wrongly accepted gun violence and mass shootings, becoming desensitized to the damage that assault weapons such as AR-15 that are increasingly the weapons that cause multiple deaths and injuries.
When you dig deeper into the Monmouth poll, a significant part to us is when the survey was taken:
The poll was conducted before the recent Nashville shooting but after shootings in Michigan and California earlier this year and numerous other shootings last year that occurred subsequent to Monmouth’s prior poll in June 2022.
Let’s put that in context: The June 2022 polling came in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers. But the Monmouth survey was from mid-March before the six deaths, three of which were children, in Tennessee, the Louisville bank shooting and four incidents of young adults being in the wrong place at the wrong time this month.
You know who took a poll after the above shootings and showed a jump of 15 percentage points supporting our position? Fox News. Their national poll found 61% of Americans wanting assault weapons banned.
Gun violence, especially mass shootings with assault weapons, keeps happening. And that is something that we just should not accept.
Heading into this weekend, there have been 13,716 deaths due to gun violence, 174 mass shootings leaving 17 dead. Of the deaths, 568 of those deaths were children under the age of 18.
No other country has these stats when it comes to gun deaths but they all have the same access to movies, video games and the internet. It is our lax gun laws that are the difference.
To that end, the Monmouth poll did show 81% support requiring comprehensive background checks, 72% for a federal red flag law and 56% feel individual states should be allowed to limit who can carry a concealed handgun (the Fox poll found around 80% want background checks, age limits, and 30 days waiting periods).
The Jersey Shore polling outfit recorded 34% saying that the right to bear arms is absolute and should not be limited; we land with the 51% who believe the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment is important but should have restrictions.
There is room for common sense gun safety reform. The numbers do show that there is work to be done to make sure that includes an assault weapons ban and we continue to bang the drum for it until it happens. And that includes supporting politicians that consider this a top tier issue willing to use their political capital to make a change, Democrat and Republican alike.
But all of us must stop accepting that gun violence, especially those by AR-15s and other assault weapons, is something that we can do something about.
Because we have done so in the past and we can do it again.
I’m all in favor of restricting firearms but more restrictive laws are likely to be passed or, if passed, survive Constitutional challenge. So politicians grandstand but actually do nothing productive.
If our Congressional delegation is serious about reducing gun violence, they would introduce a bill to repeal the absurdly titled Protection of Lawful commerce in Firearms Act ( or something like that) that insulates gun manufacturers and dealers from civil liability if their inherently dangerous product causes injury or death. There is NO Second Amendment issue: it just gives victims of gun violence the same right to sue the maker of a dangerous product.
Trial lawyers would be happy to sue the manufacturers for billions of dollars and those that make and promote “assault weapon type” of semi automatic firearms would quickly stop. Their insurance companies would insist.
Why don’t you ask the NJ delegation why they aren’t repealing the PLCCA?
The last time this came up in Congress was in July of 2022, not quite a year ago. All NJ congresspeople voted in support. The problem is that it could pass the filibuster in the Senate. Both our NJ senators support the ban. This is not a “both sides” issue.
Submitted at 11:40am on Sunday, 4/30.
Congrats, in addition to being disingenuous left-wing propagandists, you’re hypocrites too!
Lol…you continually claim that FOX News is lying about EVERYTHING… except when you think they might have something that lends credibility to your lies.
This simply demonstrates that we the people should never blindly believe anything (including “news” articles, polls, politicians, etc.).
Educate yourselves beyond the headlines and form your own fact based opinion.
While FOX News is slightly more credible than CNN and infinitely more credible than north-jerseyleftwing propaganda.com, this is exactly why “polls” should never be more than a potential discussion item.
Buried at the bottom of the FOX News article are the details of this poll which include…
“this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,004 registered voters nationwide”
That’s right folks…in a country of 330 million people, this poll included the opinions of 0.000303030303% of the population.
Also mentioned in that poll but purposely omitted from your “reporting”…
“Overall, 43% feel passing stricter gun control laws would make the country safer”
“The number feeling stricter gun laws would make the country safer is down 9 points from 2016”
Do you think that’s because people are realizing that the root problem is criminals that don’t care about the law?
And now for some educational content…
The Truth About So-Called “Assault Weapons”
Gun control advocates bring up “assault weapons” time and time again. It seems almost impossible to a have discussion about Second Amendment rights without hearing the term. And yet, what many Americans who aren’t familiar with guns don’t know is — it’s not even a real term.
How the Term “Assault Weapon” Came to Be
Gun control advocates adopted the term “assault weapon” from the military in an effort to deliberately confuse the public and advance the political cause of gun control. They now use it to mischaracterize a broad range of firearms used by law-abiding civilians.
The origin of “assault weapon” stems from the term “assault rifle,” which the U.S. Army defines explicitly as a selective-fire rifle chambered for a cartridge of intermediate power. The term “assault rifle” only applies to automatic firearms rather than the semi-automatic firearms that gun control advocates are focused on banning today.
The key difference is that semi-automatic firearms, such as AR-15s, only fire a single round each time the trigger is pulled. Automatic firearms — including military assault rifles — discharge continually when the trigger is pulled. Although they are often used in the Armed Services, these firearms are not readily available for sale to the general public. To purchase a fully-automatic firearm requires an extensive FBI background check including fingerprints and photographs, as well as registration of the firearm at the federal level.
However, gun control advocates refer to semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms interchangeably — in a deliberate effort to confuse voters and advance their broad agenda.
In 1984, a group called Handgun Control, Inc. first used the term “assault weapon” in reference to a rifle in a newspaper advertisement.
A few years later, in 1988, the term rose in prominence after Josh Sugarmann, a gun control advocacy group’s communications director, stated in a Violence Policy Center paper:
“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons – anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun – can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”
This statement by a prominent gun control lobbyist outlined their intentions clearly. The goal behind popularizing the term “assault weapons” was always to deliberately mislead the American people in order to pass anti-gun legislation.
The use of the term “assault weapons” exploded in the years to follow, eventually catching on in the mainstream media, who used the adopted phrase to cause further confusion.
It helped gun control advocates garner support to pass the 1994 federal “assault weapons” ban — and the plan succeeded. The ban lasted for ten years until it expired in 2004 after Congress determined the ban had no impact on reducing crimes committed with guns.
Since then, gun control advocates have continued to push for additional bans. However, they now struggle to agree on a definition for their made-up phrase.
Gun Control Advocates Can’t Define “Assault Weapon”
Gun control advocates’ definition of “assault weapon” varies depending on the source because they cannot collectively agree on how to define it.
This even applies to politicians who could have potentially banned our firearms. Just look at David Chipman, for example.
Joe Biden nominated Chipman to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the government agency in charge of enforcing gun laws. Chipman couldn’t even nail down a definition during a May 2021 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
During the hearing, Senator Tom Cotton asked the simple question, “What is an ‘assault weapon’?”
Chipman tried to avoid a response before hesitantly stating:
“Any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22, which would include a .223, which is, you know largely the AR-15 round.”
Cotton pointed out that would “basically cover every single modern sporting rifle in America today.” It would also include a number of collectible rifles.
Chipman is just one example of how gun control advocates struggle or even refuse to define the firearms that they are seeking to ban.
And rifles aren’t the only firearms they’ve tried to put under the umbrella of “assault weapons.”
Gun control advocates have also targeted handguns, such as pistols that hold ten rounds. Biden himself said he would push to ban 9-millimeter pistols. He stated:
“I’m the only guy that ever got passed legislation, when I was a senator, to make sure we eliminated assault weapons. The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether — whether it’s a 9-millimeter pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous. I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things.”
Again, gun control advocates are willing to refer to any firearm as an “assault weapon” if it suits their needs. But there is rarely any consistency in which firearms they decide to include.
This 1994 “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazine” ban named prohibited guns specifically but then tried to more broadly define the term to include several cosmetic features such as pistol grips and folding stocks. These cosmetic features had little or nothing to do with whether certain firearms were more likely to be used in a crime.
In short, gun control advocates will use any definition of “assault weapons” that suits their political motivations, and they’ve shown that over time.
Why Should “Assault Weapons” Not be Banned
The 1994 federal “assault weapons” ban shows us why a similar ban wouldn’t work today. Simply put, it had no impact in curbing violent crime.
A 1997 congressionally-mandated study looked at the effects of the first 30 months of the 1994-2004 federal “assault weapons” ban and found it had no impact on crime. And a follow-up study found that “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”
Later research conducted in 2018 also found no evidence that “large capacity magazine” bans and “assault weapon” bans affect mass shootings.
Studies and research are helpful indicators as to why another federal “assault weapons” ban wouldn’t work, but let’s also consider some commonsense points:
• Rifles overall are responsible for a very small fraction of violent crime. More people are killed with fists and knives than with rifles every year.
• Semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s are some of the most popular firearms used in home defense and in marksmanship competitions.
• Law-abiding Americans own an estimated 11 million AR-15s — yet violent crime has not taken over the country as gun control advocates suggested. In fact, it’s gone down.
“Assault Weapons” Moving Forward
Gun control advocates will undoubtedly continue to push the narrative that semi-automatic firearms are dangerous “assault weapons.” Biden even campaigned on the promise to reenact a federal ban, once again relying on scare tactics to gain support.
But there are steps you can take to help combat misinformation and preserve our Second Amendment rights. You’re already off to a good start by reading this article.
Educate yourself. Don’t rely on the words of politicians. Instead, research firearms and form your own opinions about semi-automatic rifles. Some helpful links are listed in the section below. Be sure to encourage those around you to do their own research as well.
Submitted at 12:27 on Sunday, 4/30.
The title of this opinion is a blatant lie and should be immediately changed…
“Even A Majority of Fox Viewers Want an Assault Weapons Ban”
The poll details specifically state…
“includes interviews with 1,004 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file”
So the respondents are NOT “Fox Viewers” as you’re stating/misrepresenting.
Intentional or simply negligent… either way, it’s shameful.
To quote radio talk show host Michael Savage, liberalism is a mental disorder. And no where is it more evident than when talking about guns. Honestly, their stupidity knows no bounds. I could respond to this inane opinion piece, but other commenters have already done a much better job.
I’ll just say this: If you want to ban guns, then do the hard work of amending the Constitution. Because until then, you’re just pi$$ing in the wind.
Left wing extremists have already demonstrated a clear disdain for the constitutional rights…especially the 2nd amendment which stands in their way of further trampling on and restricting the 1st…and every other.
People need to educate themselves more…the 2nd ammendment has nothing to do with hunting, etc.
The 2nd Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, not the bill of needs.
The idea of having to prove to the government a justifiable “need” to exercise what is a constitutional right is counter to everything the founders imagined when they crafted the Bill of Rights.
These rights are not given to us by government. They are inherent rights of “We, the People” and our protection from government.
The NRA doesn’t want an assault weapons ban. They own the GOP. And Leonard Leo owns the Supreme Court. And Democrats can’t get Diane Feinstein to retire and some of them are too foolish to even demand it.
You don’t know what you are talking about. You can’t even spell amendment and you’ve never read or studied the Constitution. Even Scalia said there’s no right to own a machine gun. That’s what an AR15 essentially is. Not until Leonard Leo bought the Supreme Court has the 2nd amendment been so stupidly interpreted. If they truly believed in “original intent” you’d have a right to own a MUSKET and that’s all and that would be to be part of a well regulated militia. What we have now is carnage based upon idiocy.
To quote me: You are a mental disorder. Michael “Savage” is Michael Weiner. I went to high school with him. He’s a clown. No one wants to “ban guns”. Even Antonin Scalia said there’s no constitutional right to owning a machine gun. An AR 15 is essentially that. We had a ban on AR 15s for years and guess what? Gun deaths declined. Even with the lunatic Leonard Leo fringe running the court today, with the exception of Clarence the bought and paid for clown whose wife is a traitor, and Alito, the court would not strike down an assault weapons ban. You are cr…ping in the wind and it’s covered your eyes..
We had an assault weapons ban in place for years and it saved lives and it was constitutional. It would pass muster even with this Supreme Court.
Congrats on being another low-information voter who is informed by only headlines, not by facts.
An AR-15 is not a machine gun. Machine guns have been illegal for civilians to own since the early 20th century. They were banned under the National Firearms Act of 1934.
The federal government did its own study after the repeal of the “assault weapons ban” in 2004 and concluded that the ban didn’t reduce gun violence.
On the topic of the Supreme Court, I’m guessing you haven’t actually read any of the decisions in the last decade or so… MacDonald, Heller and Bruen (landmark Supreme Court decisions) have all upheld the rights of the People to keep and bear arms, as validated by the text, history and tradition of the Second Amendment.
So, despite your ignorance on the subject, I’m very happy to say your opinion is irrelevant and the Supreme Court is, indeed, protecting the rights of the People to keep and bear arms.
First, you don’t know me or anything about what I’ve studied but yet you’ve judged me based on a single accidental misspelling.
Second, it appears you’re the one that’s being illogical in their interpretation…can you show us where the 2nd amendment says anything about limiting private ownership to a musket?
I’ll help you out…it doesn’t…
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
And do you know why?
If we apply your “logic” evenly, then the original intent of the 1st amendment would only apply to the spoken word or what’s written with a quill and ink.
Starting to make more sense to you now?
Starting to realize that our founding fathers were much smarter than you’re giving them credit for?
Third, an AR15 is not a machine gun (not “essentially” or by any definition) so your ignorance on the topic clearly demonstrates why we cannot tolerate uneducated people with an agenda to suggest new laws that limit our freedoms.
More fools who do NOT understand anything about guns speak. Where is the responsibility of the psychologists, counsellors and doctors who routinely distribute drugs whose labels warn about violent, suicidal thoughts? Where is the explanation of why societies like ours with wildly diverse populations compared to let us say Europe have more problems? Where are the harsh sentences that should be handed out to violent criminals using guns before they kill people? Where is the explanation that all semi-automatic firearms, pistols, rifles, shotguns are for all intents and purposes the exact same thing as AR-15’s? Israel and Switzerland are awash in fully automatic arms, real assault weapons yet they have no problems WHY?