Antis: Please Keep Talking!

Antis: Please Keep Talking!

Instead of getting mad when the TV networks or the New York Times dog on gun rights, we should urge them on. That's the logical conclusion  of a survey announced this week by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

(Graphic by Pew Research Center)

The Pew Center is not known as a swarming nest of right-wingers, so it probably was not easy for someone there to write a headline reading "Growing Public Support for Gun Rights," but the head should reflect the story, and it does.

For the first time in 20 years more respondents said it was more important to protect gun rights than to control gun ownership by a margin of 52% to 46%. When the question was asked in 1993, the ratio went the other way, with 57% supporting gun control and just 34% favoring gun rights.

Now, the numbers favoring gun rights or gun control vary greatly over time, no doubt in reaction to news events, but the trend line is unmistakable. We are winning the argument, and the harder the other side fights, the more we gain. Maybe we've had Mike Bloomberg all wrong!

One of the most striking aspects of the survey was the increased support for gun rights among black respondents. When blacks were asked in December of 2012 whether gun ownership does more to protect or endanger personal safety, only 29% came down on the side of protection. In this week's survey, 54% said gun ownership does more to protect people. That's a huge swing that has to be disturbing to the antis.

The rest of the results were exactly what you would expect; conservative Republicans support gun rights, liberal Democrats support gun control. Graduate degree holders are generally gun control supporters, which shows you the dangers of too much exposure to the educational system. Support for gun rights went up 10% among men since the last survey, but it went up 5% among women, too.

Support for gun control peaked in 1959. Now, 55 years of antigun agitation has put support for gun rights at an all-time high. You'd think they'd learn the best strategy would be just to shut up. Fortunately for us, they will keep right on talking.

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