An independent survey by the Field Poll has revealed that a majority of California voters are willing to trample the civil rights of gun owners by a 61-34 percent margin, and that more Californians have a negative view of the National Rifle Association (43 percent) than a positive one (37 percent).
The poll also reveals that more Democrat voters have a negative impression of the NRA (58-23 percent) than Republicans, who have a strong majority support for the organization (63-18 percent). So-called “non-partisan” voters also tilt away from the NRA (46-29 percent). Only 28 percent of California voters support allowing specially-trained teachers to carry guns at school.
The Field Poll survey, released today and reported first by the San Francisco Chronicle’s morning edition, also reveals that a 3-1 majority of respondents (75 percent) believe that anyone purchasing ammunition should be required to “get a permit and undergo a background check.”
The poll was conducted Feb. 5-17 among 834 registered California voters and some of the questions were asked of a “random subsample of 415 registered voters.” It has a sampling error of +/- 3.5 percentage points among the 834 voters and a +/- 5 percentage point sampling error among the 415-voter subsample.
Sixty-one percent of the poll respondents also support higher taxes on the sale of ammunition, and 57 percent support bans on semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines. Fifty-eight percent of these voters support banning the standard capacity magazines that are designed for these rifles.
Based on the poll results, one might argue that the beginning of a social collapse may be underway, and that it is creeping northward.
In Oregon, Democrats have introduced a sweeping gun ban measure, HB 3200, which would ban so-called “assault weapons” and their magazines, and declares an emergency, meaning that the bill becomes law immediately after it is signed. Alarm bells have been ringing among the members of the Northwest Firearms forum.
State Rep. Mitch Greenlick, a transplant not from California but Michigan, is prime sponsor of the bill. A Portland Democrat, he is now in his fourth term.
In Washington, Democrats pushed for bans on semi-autos, as this column reported. The two sponsors, Sen. Adam Kline and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, are transplants. Kohl-Welles was born in Wisconsin and raised in California. Kline is from Maryland where he attended Johns Hopkins and once worked as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, and he was a civil rights activist in Mississippi.
Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat, who last week discussed the problems with the Kline-Kohl-Welles ban legislation, caught up with this column over the weekend, observing that these measures are why Democrats “keep shooting themselves in the foot.”
It is not that measures to ban certain “scary looking” firearms translates to a social collapse, but poll results showing that a majority of voters would sacrifice the civil rights of fellow citizens, or include language in legislation that would allow for the warrantless searches of their homes, are worrisome.
The push for more restrictive gun laws at the national and local levels – in Olympia, Salem and other state capitols – should worry anyone.
Assault on Weapons: The Campaign to Eliminate Your Guns