Gun ownership is on the rise in some surprising places. As much as President Obama would have us believe that only small-town yokels “cling to guns or religion,” a Gallup poll released Wednesday suggests many of the firearms that have been flying off the shelves in the past two years were purchased by Democrats and women. The Second Amendment has truly gone mainstream.
Overall, just under half of Americans said they have a gun at home, which is 6 percent more than had them in 2010. Not surprisingly, the highest ownership percentages are found in the South and the Midwest, and Republicans are the group most likely to be packing heat - up 3 percent. By comparison, Gallup found the number of Democrats willing to come out and admit to having a sidearm jumped 8 points from 32 percent to 40 percent. Since Mr. Obama’s inauguration, the ranks of gun-toting women swelled by 10 points to 43 percent.
This change has significant impact on policy. Nearly three out of four respondents opposed handgun bans - an all-time high. There are now more Democrats with guns than there are liberals who want to take them away. A half-century ago, the gun grabbers held sway over public opinion. Today, even misleading terms like “assault weapon” aren’t enough to scare up majority support for gun control.
The 2004 expiration of the Clinton-era ban on some semiautomatic rifles did not result in an increase in mayhem or murder. Nor did anything bad happen in Chicago or Washington after the Supreme Court finally interpreted the constitutional directive that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” to mean that people can actually keep arms.
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee voted 19-11 to force state governments to give meaning to the right to “bear” arms. Rep. Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican, drafted legislation to provide the same nationwide reciprocity for concealed carry permits as currently exists for driver’s licenses. Though the bill has little chance of eluding Mr. Obama’s veto pen, the 2012 elections are not far away.
Violent crime has been on the decline as the number of people carrying guns has soared, so it’s obvious that the anti-Second Amendment crowd has been lying to us all these years. Crime cannot be wished away by enacting laws that only restrict what the law-abiding can do. As this truth sinks in, more gun grabbers will be converted into gun owners.