Shocker: Pew Survey Shows Little Trust in U.S. Government

Shocker: Pew Survey Shows Little Trust in U.S. Government
A group of gun rights activists gathers in Niagra Square on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Buffalo, N.Y., to protest gun legislation recently passed by the State of New York. (Photo by John Hickey/Buffalo News)

A recent survey by the Pew Center for People & The Press has found that 53 percent of Americans think the federal government is a threat to their personal freedoms. Of those who responded, 43 percent said their freedoms weren't threatened by government, with the remaining 4 percent undecided.

That's a reversal from the last time the question was asked in March 2010, when 45 percent felt threatened and 50 percent did not, and an even larger change from 1995, when the split was 36-62.

Conservative Republicans  felt most threatened, with 76 percent responding that way, up from 62 percent in 2010. The question was also asked of those of all parties who reported having a gun in the house. As SGN readers would probably suspect, a full 62 percent of those respondents felt the U.S. government represented a threat to their freedoms.


So who likes the government? Only 34 percent of liberal Democrats regard the government as any kind of threat, with just 13 percent seeing it as a major threat. Hispanic Americans were most trusting of government, with 44 percent trusting it all or most of the time. That was even higher than blacks, 38 percent of whom expressed similar faith in government; whites, 20 percent.


People in general have expressed declining faith in the government — and, for that matter, in other large institutions — for many years; the exception being a patriotic surge right after the 9/11 attacks. Most would expect small-government conservatives to be the most skeptical, but it seems your confidence in government depends a lot on who's running it: During the second George W. Bush term, liberal Democrats were much angrier at government than conservative Republicans are today.


A healthy distrust of government in part of the American creed, but if the reservoir of trust is drained too low, you get Yugoslavia circa 1990, and all kidding aside, we don't want to go there.

Here's my recommendation if government wants gun owners to be less angry and more trusting. Keep your mitts off our guns.

Recommended for You

It's a matter of not wanting “What do you need a magazine with that many rounds for?” to become more than a rhetorical internet question. 2nd Amendment

Trump Administration Export Ban on Over 32 Round Magazines Raises Question of 'Why?'

David Codrea - June 14, 2019

It's a matter of not wanting “What do you need a magazine with that many rounds for?” to...

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

The Soviet short sword of World War II was the Pistolet Pulyemet Shpagin-1941 (PPSh-41) submachine gun. Rifles

Shooting the Soviet 7.62x25mm PPSh-41 Submachine Gun

David M. Fortier - July 11, 2019

The Soviet short sword of World War II was the Pistolet Pulyemet Shpagin-1941 (PPSh-41)...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Ruger introduces Rifles Chambered in the All-New .350 Legend

Ruger introduces Rifles Chambered in the All-New .350 Legend

Two Ruger American Ranch rifles and the AR-556 MPR are now chambered for Winchester's .350 Legend cartridge.

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

The Performance Center's M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features ported barrel, flat face trigger and tuned action.

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to do nothing but pass more gun control! 2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

See More Stories

More 2nd Amendment

Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini filed HB 273 last Tuesday, which would allow Floridians to carry concealed firearms for self-defense without a permit. 2nd Amendment

New Florida Bill 273 Allows Constitutional Carry

Jim Grant - October 04, 2019

Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini filed HB 273 last Tuesday, which would allow...

It wasn't until after some high profile police shootings started drawing media criticism that DeWine decided that he could no longer politically afford to ignore the obvious, so he did what comes so naturally to him: He reversed course. 2nd Amendment

DeWine On Again/Off Again with Gun-Grabber Roots

David Codrea - October 17, 2019

It wasn't until after some high profile police shootings started drawing media criticism that...

California District Court Judge James V. Selena recently questioned the validity of the ATF's classification of AR15 lowers as firearms during a recent criminal case. 2nd Amendment

California Judge Questions AR-15 Lower ATF Classification

Jim Grant - October 23, 2019

California District Court Judge James V. Selena recently questioned the validity of the ATF's...

See More 2nd Amendment

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.