Public opinion poll: "Most Americans back gun lobby, right to use deadly force"
by Chad D. Baus
According to a recent news report, a Reuters/ Ipsos poll has found that most Americans support the right to use deadly force to protect themselves - even in public places - and have a favorable view of the National Rifle Association, the main gun-lobby group.
From the article:
The online survey showed that 68 percent, or two out of three respondents, had a favorable opinion of the NRA, which starts its annual convention in St. Louis, Missouri, on Friday.
Eighty-two percent of Republicans saw the gun lobbying group in a positive light as well as 55 percent of Democrats, findings that run counter to the perception of Democrats as anti-NRA.
Most of the 1,922 people surveyed nationwide from April Monday through Thursday said they supported laws that allow Americans to use deadly force to protect themselves from danger in their own home or in a public place.
"Americans do hold to this idea that people should be allowed to defend themselves and using deadly force is fine, in those circumstances," said pollster Chris Jackson. "In the theoretical ... there's a certain tolerance of vigilantism."
The poll was conducted amid a nationwide debate over gun rights and race after the Florida shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood crime watch volunteer who is white and Hispanic.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told Reuters "regardless of how others try to distort our position, the general public knows where we stand. It shows the failure of the continuing efforts of many to try and discredit the National Rifle Association."
Eighty-seven percent of respondents - with high numbers among both Republicans and Democrats - supported the use of deadly force to protect themselves from danger in their home.
Two-thirds said they backed laws permitting the use of deadly force to protect themselves in public.
According to Reuters, 85 percent of those polled said they did not believe police could stop all crime and 77 percent felt regular people had to "step up" to help prevent crime from happening.
The survey included 650 Republicans, 752 Democrats and 520 independents. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for all respondents.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.