In the shocker department, a recent Associated Press-GfK poll shows that Americans are a lot less confident in government's ability to protect them from a variety of perils.
The combination of various foreign misadventures, a vice president who specializes in antagonizing U.S. allies, the emergence of the terrifying ebola virus on U.S. soil, the incompetent Secret Service response to a man who jumped the White House fence, the beheading of a woman at an Oklahoma factory and an economy that has taken years to recover from a bad recession has sapped the confidence of all but the most ardent statists.
Only one respondent in five was "extremely or very" confident the government can keep the public safe from another terrorist attack. Four in 10 expressed moderate confidence. The poll found that Democrats have more faith in the government's ability to protect them than do Republicans, but even among Democrats, just 27% are confident the government can keep them safe from terrorist attacks.
Certain opinions were exactly what you'd expect:
"Urbanites tend to be more confident the government will keep them safe from terrorist threats than do people living in suburbs and rural areas. Younger Americans are more confident than older people that the government can minimize the threat of mass shootings."
I would say urbanites, many of whom live in cities with restrictive gun laws, don't have a lot of choice but to hope the government can protect them. And young people are too young to know better. Nine of 10 respondents cited the economy as a very or extremely important issue, which should give pause to those pushing global warming or amnesty for illegal aliens as election issues.
Joe Teasdale, a respondent from Wisconsin, summed it up sincerely, if not too artfully, saying, "I think what we've got going on here in America is the perfect storm of not good things." When you are in a not good thing storm, a gun is a good thing to have.