Gun Stories of the Week: More Americans Oppose Gun Control, Support Concealed Carry

TOP STORY
Polls: More Americans oppose gun control, support concealed carry

What’s a week without two or three new polls being released to fill the news cycle blatherfest with discussion, debate and analysis? Gallup and CNN/ORC both released polls last week to re-ascertain—again—Americans’ views on guns and gun control. Apparently, they need to get a spotlight freeze-frame of ambient opinion at least 100 times a year.

The Gallup poll released on Oct. 20 shows 56 percent of Americans believe that if more people carried concealed weapons after passing a criminal background check and training course, the U.S. would be a safer place.

According to the CNN/ORC poll released on Oct. 21, about half of all Americans oppose stricter gun control laws, which is a larger segment of the population than those who support tighter controls on guns.

Maybe CNN/ORC should poll the media about what its polls mean because while most outlets called it what it is—a majority of Americans do not support more gun control laws others, such as Maxine Mendoza in an Oct. 22 blog for tvnewsroom.org, interpreted the “more than half of all Americans saying they oppose stricter gun control laws” thing to mean “Americans favor stricter gun control laws.”

According to the CNN/ORC poll, 52 percent of Americans oppose stricter gun control laws, which was 6 percentage points more than the 46 percent of Americans who support such laws. That's a wider gap than in June when CNN last surveyed Americans on gun control, when the public was equally split at 49 percent on the issue.

Most non-white Americans—55 percent—who participated in the poll support tighter gun control laws, while 43 percent stand opposed. While 14 percent more men oppose gun control restrictions, women are nearly equally split on the question with 49 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed.

The largest split is partisan: 76 percent of Republicans oppose stricter gun control compared to just 25 percent of Democrats.

The Oct. 20 Gallup poll in which 56 percent said if more people carried concealed weapons after passing a criminal background check and training course, the U.S. would be a safer place, revealed young people between the ages of 18-29 are the most favorable toward concealed weapons, with 66 percent saying an increase will improve public safety.

Compared to a 2014 Gallup poll, more gun owners want stricter laws (30 percent to 36 percent this year), as do more people non gunowners (57 percent in 2014 to 64 percent this time). However, a near-record low of Americans (27 percent) said they favor a law only allowing authorized personnel—such as police—to possess handguns.

The bottom line: No matter how many times you poll, the results are the same—Americans don’t see gun control as a solution to gun violence. In fact, they see it as a contributor.

“Those hoping for a popular resurgence for The Daily Caller. “Not only do most Americans oppose more restrictive laws but they also believe more concealed weapons will make the country safer.”

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NO FRAUD INSURANCE IN POLITICS
Take New York lawmaker’s proposed gunowners’ liability bill with a grain of salt

Here we go again: For the second time in two years, a New York state assemblyman is preying on constituents’ fears while pandering to a fawning, tin-headed media by proposing a go-nowhere bill that would mandate all Empire State gunowners keep $250,000 in liability coverage.

Brooklyn Democrat Felix W. Ortiz’s AB 5864, was introduced earlier this year and requires every legal gun owner to obtain and keep at least a $250,000 worth of liability insurance specifically covering damages from negligent acts involving their firearms. Failure to maintain the policy would result in revocation of firearms licenses required under state law for gun ownership.

“Enough is enough,” Ortiz said. “How can we protect our children from gun atrocities without a common sense approach to provide victim compensation? We need a better way to hold reckless gun owners accountable. Laws cannot bring back loved ones, but requiring owners of firearms to have liability insurance brings us one step closer to acknowledging the risks and dangers of gun ownership.”

Ortiz, who voted for the 2013 New York SAFE Act is famous for stupid bills, such as his proposed law to ban salt in New York restaurants under threat of a $1,000 fine. He proposed a similar gunowner liability bill two years ago with a mandatory $1 million minimum policy. That measure failed to gain momentum despite support from the Brady Campaign.

Tom King, president of the New York Rifle and Pistol Association, told the New York Daily News that Ortiz is merely seeking attention, calling the bill “ridiculous” and noting common sense shows why it can’t work.

“Insurance companies don’t insure against criminal acts,” said King, a former insurance broker. “These guys are talking about things they don’t know anything about.”

Lawmakers in at least five other states—California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania—have considered and rejected requiring gun owners have liability insurance in the last two years, according to The New York Times.

In June, Rep, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would require gun owners to carry liability insurance coverage as a prerequisite to being allowed to own a gun. The bill has since been forgotten in the Republican controlled House.

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STATE ROUNDUP
Bloomberg spending big bucks in Virginia

Former New York City Mayor and alleged Republican Michael Bloomberg will spend $700,000 to help the Democratic candidate in a closely contested Virginia race that could determine which party controls the state Senate.

Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund said on Oct. 21 that it plans to spend $700,000 in, among other things, TV ad targets Glen Sturtevant, the Republican nominee for the 10th Senate District.

Sturtevant faces Democrat Dan Gecker in at the Richmond-area legislative contest. Republicans control the Senate 21-19, and Democrats, led by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, are spending heavily to try to flip control of the chamber.

Kazillionaire Bloomberg has spent more than $3 million helping Virginia Democrats in the 2013 elections to advance their campaign against the Constitution by demeaning law-abiding gunowners.

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association has spent at least $340,000 in Virginia, including $56,000 in the 10th Senate District, according to Virginia Public Access Project.

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IN THE COURTS
U.S. appeals court upholds New York, Connecticut gun laws

Gun control laws passed in New York and Connecticut to ban possession of semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines were mostly upheld Oct. 19 by a federal appeals court decision that a gun group vowed to appeal.

According to Larry Neumeister of the Associated Press, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan found “core parts” of the laws did not violate the Second Amendment because there was a substantial relationship between bans on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines and the “important — indeed, compelling — state interest in controlling crime.”

The ruling, written by Circuit Judge Jose A. Cabranes, states: “When used, these weapons tend to result in more numerous wounds, more serious wounds, and more victims. These weapons are disproportionately used in crime, and particularly in criminal mass shootings. They are also disproportionately used to kill law enforcement officers.”

Neumeister wrote that the court found Connecticut’s ban on a non-semi-automatic Remington 7615 unconstitutional. And it said a seven-round load limit in New York could not be imposed even as it upheld other bans on magazines.

“Like assault weapons, large-capacity magazines result in ‘more shots fired, persons wounded, and wounds per victim than do other gun attacks,’” the court said.

Noah Feldman, a Bloomberg View columnist and professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard, called the ruling inconclusive in a sweeping analysis published in The Tulsa World and other newspapers nationwide.

“On the surface, Monday's decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upholding most of the assault weapons bans passed by New York and Connecticut is a win for gun-control advocates,” Feldman writes. “But the unanimous decision by a panel of three Democratic appointees nevertheless points to potential trouble for similar laws should they ever be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

While justices held that assault weapons in general fall within the core protections of the Second Amendment, they “applied a lenient standard to uphold the laws,” he writes. “A more aggressive court might well apply a tougher standard and strike them down. You might think it's settled law that states can ban assault rifles. It isn't. The factual and legal background is more complicated.”

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