Anti-gun activists consistently emphasize not owning guns in general and especially keeping them away from children so they will not favor gun ownership when adults. Some believe just the opposite that guns can be used by good folks to protect themselves from the inherent evil and the bad folks with harmful purposes who have guns and are intent on jeopardizing others with them for their selfish purposes. They believe that children at an appropriate age should be taught about guns as tools used by well-motivated individuals in the real world for positive reasons, rather than having their heads in the sand oblivious to what actually occurs. Stop, don’t touch, leave the area, tell an adult. A mantra used by some gun classes for children these days. Yes, there is both good and evil in our world and while we want to emphathize the positive and good, we must be prepared just in case to deal with evil and crazy folks using a gun as their tool of destruction. Sadly, others do not share the righteous, good intentions, positive values, behaviors, and goals that most of us have. We cannot assume that all others share our goodwill and friendly well-meaning for societal values and positive behaviors. So what do others think now in 2014 about having a gun around? Will a gun in the home make it safer or more dangerous? Is there any recent supportive data one way or the other?
A well-recognized and reliable independent source for what Americans and others in the world are thinking about various topics is the Gallup Analytics research group. For about 80 years, they have researched and gathered specific data and metrics for the U.S. and over 160 countries. They are involved with documented and reliable statistics and opinions about such attitudes and behaviors as economic confidence, employment and unemployment, job creation, consumer spending, approval-disapproval leadership ratings for political figures, religion, food, environment, stress topics, and gun ownership. Gallup Analytics includes objective research, expert analysis and factual reporting. So I was pleased to read their latest report from October 2014 about guns in the home and what others believe about if the presence of a gun in the home makes it safer or more dangerous. Here is what I found and some other related data.
You should know this about the Gallup Survey methods. Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted October 12-15, 2014, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 1,017 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. You can go yourself to see their results here.
Some claim you are more likely to have a problem if you have a gun in your home, than if you don’t. However, Gallup and other researchers have some very recent data that show Americans are acquiring guns at record levels for their homes and that 63% now in 2014 believe that having a gun in their home makes it safer. As you can see from the chart below, this is almost double the percent that thought this in 2000, 14 years ago.
GALLUP RESEARCH SURVEY
Survey Question: Do you think having a gun in the house, makes it a safer place to be or a more dangerous place to be?
|Gun in the House Survey||% SAFER||% MORE DANGEROUS||DEPENDS|
|Oct. 9-12, 2006||47||43||7|
|Source: Gallup Research Surveys|
So this is good information to know, but I wanted more specifics. I wondered what is the difference among males and females and whites and non-whites, and even political parties about this topic. Well, Gallup came through in their 2014 research study with data about this, so I want to share with you what Gallup said about these topics.
Support for Guns in the Home- by Demographics
GALLUP RESEARCH SURVEY- 2014
Survey Question: Do you have a gun in your home?
|Gun by Demographic Group||% YES||% NO|
|Source: Gallup Research Survey-|
Oct. 12-15, 2014
As you can see from the summary charts (and from Gallup’s website data), Gallup reports that they found recent support for having guns in the home, reporting support from a large percentage of men, women, whites, and people in major geographic U.S. regions. I would think that individuals’ reporting actually having a gun in their home would be highly correlated with supporting the idea of having guns in the home and not being anti-gun. The objective data shows what I subjectively felt that more men than women support having guns in the home, while more whites than non-whites support guns in the home. It is interesting to note that having guns in the home is supported more by those living in the South and Mid-West U.S. regions. Also, note that 55% of Republicans, 43% of Independents, and only 27% of Democrats reported actually having a gun in the home. So 2014 Gallup survey data shows then that 72% of Democrats reported NOT having a gun in their home. I wonder if this is actually true? Interesting and draw your own conclusions.
I noticed from the data that 28% of non-whites reported having a gun in their home, with a large 70% of non-whites reporting NOT having a gun in their home. This was somewhat of a surprise to me and I thought it would be closer to the whites reporting of 49%. Well, again this is just one survey, albeit a respected one, but I would like to see more data and a larger sample size, even though this survey had a statistically-valid 95% confidence level. Not for just this demographic, but for all of them. But, this is some researched information and data to consider and to combine with your opinions and other sources.
The 2014 Gallup Research Survey findings that most Americans today believe that guns enhance their safety at home should cause anti-gun activists, some politicians, and others to re-think their ideas, beliefs, and activities. This is a major research-based conclusion that should not be ignored. This survey and others find that personal safety is the main reason that we own guns today. The earlier Gallup survey in 2008 found that almost 75% of Americans believe that the Second Amendment to our U.S. Constitution definitely protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. While some today deny, think it old-fashioned, misinterpret the meaning and intent of our Constitution, and even want to dismantle or do away with it, we must not overlook the major, landmark U.S. Supreme court decisions that reaffirm our right to keep and bear arms present in our Consitution. Remember, the Supreme Court of the United States’ District of Columbia v. Heller decision in 2008 that reaffirmed that the Second Amendment to our Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes and self-defense within the home. Further clarification came from the Supreme Court of the U.S. that ruled in 2010 in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment does apply to individual states and the right of an individual to keep and bear arms as incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment for states. The highest law in our land supports guns in the home and for self defense. Recent Gallup research supports guns in the home. Do you?
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* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.
© 2014 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].