In the wake of the Senate defeat of a measure to expand background checks on gun purchases, an AP/GfK survey shows that, contrary to Obama's insistence that 90 percent of Americans favor tightened gun laws, there is a healthy — and increasing — resistance to the president's gun control plan, which includes a universal background check, a provision Second Amendment advocates warn will ultimately lead to a national registry of gun owners.
While 49 percent of those polled in the survey said they think gun laws should be tightened up, the Associated Press noted that those numbers are down from 58 percent in January — just a month after the tragic Newtown, Connecticut, shootings, when the president and congressional Democrats were capitalizing on the emotions of the moment. Over the past three months, even as the White House has trotted out Newtown parents and others impacted by violence committed with guns as props in its gun control strategy, Americans have begun reconsidering the implications of increased federal gun regulations. The AP poll noted that a total of 52 percent of Americans now disapprove of Obama's gun control efforts.
Overall, a total of 38 percent of those surveyed said they think America's gun laws should not be altered in any way. Second Amendment advocates note that the number strongly contradicts Obama's road-stroke declarations of universal approval for his gun control package. “By now, it’s well known that 90 percent of the American people support universal background checks that make it harder for a dangerous person to buy a gun,” said Obama following the Senate defeat. He insisted that “we’re talking about convicted felons, people convicted of domestic violence, people with a severe mental illness” who would be denied guns through the check. “Ninety percent of Americans support that idea,” he declared.
The poll numbers indicate otherwise, and, as John Lott, an economist and author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws, has noted, there is a good reason that Obama and other advocates of background checks never cite statistics to show such laws reduce gun crime: There is no such evidence. While a few criminals may be prevented from accessing a firearm, Lott noted that a “2004 National Academy of Sciences panel concluded that the Brady background checks [the present federal law in place] didn't reduce any type of violent crime. Nor have later studies found a beneficial effect.”
The poll suggests that more Americans are realizing that measures, including background checks, represent another step down the slippery slope toward total federal gun control. As noted previously in The New American, the recently enacted NY SAFE Act gun law has confiscation provisions that can arguably be traced back to the federal Department of Homeland Security. Likewise, the Missouri Highway Patrol has admitted that it gave a list of 185,000 state conceal-carry license holders to the federal department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Warned Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), “Once you get these lists out there, once you have a gun dealer keeping lists … eventually somebody's going to ask for it.” Background checks represent a major opportunity for government entities to add to its growing list of private citizens with guns.
One of the biggest concerns of Second Amendment advocates is the likelihood that incremental gun control measures — which the defeated amendment represented — will lead ultimately to a national gun registry, a database listing every gun owner in America. Prior to the vote Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) said that a universal background check, such as the one Obama is aggressively pushing, “would allow the federal government to surveil law-abiding citizens who exercise their constitutional rights.” He noted that one of the provisions he expected to see pop up “would allow the Attorney General of the United States to promulgate regulations that could lead to a national registry system for guns — something my constituents in Utah are very concerned about, and understandably so.”
Lee added what an increasing number of Americans are beginning to realize, that “the federal government has no business monitoring when or how often you go to church, what books and newspapers you read, who you vote for, your health conditions, what you eat for breakfast, and the details of your private life.” That includes, he said, the monitoring of the “lawful exercise of your rights protected by the Second Amendment and other provisions of the Bill of Rights.”