BELLEVUE, WA â€“ A new Harris poll has revealed that by a 2-to-1 margin, American adults are convinced that the Second Amendment affirms an individual right to keep and bear arms.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said the new poll â€“ taken between May 5 and 12 â€“ also shows a greater majority of Republicans than Democrats believe the amendment supports an individual civil right. Another finding is that only 49 percent of those surveyed favor stricter gun control, down from 52 percent in 2004 and way down from the 69 percent who favored tougher gun laws in 1998. Twenty percent want less restrictions on firearms, and 21 percent want no changes in current laws.
â€œWith the U.S. Supreme Court poised to define whether the Second Amendment means what it says,â€ Gottlieb observed, â€œthis new poll makes it clear that the majority of American adults certainly believe it does. Sometime later this month, the high court will issue its ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, and we expect the court to put an end ot almost 70 years of deliberate misrepresentation by the gun control lobby about the meaning of the Second Amendment.â€
The poll involved 2,602 adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive. It revealed that people who identified themselves as Republicans accept the individual right interpretation of the Amendment by a 51 to 9 percent split, and 33 percent believe the amendment protects both an individual right, and the right of a state to form a militia. Democrats believe in the individual rights protection by a margin of 41 percent to 22 percent, with 24 percent believing the amendment protects both an individual right and a right to form a militia. Independents were divided by 31 to 22 percent on the issue of individual versus so-called â€œcollectiveâ€ right, while 35 percent of independents hold that the Second Amendment protects both an individual right and a stateâ€™s right to form a militia.
â€œThis really is a question that needs to be put to rest,â€ Gottlieb said. â€œMost American adults have a clear understanding of what the Second Amendment says and what it means. It is time to end this fairy tale notion that the right to keep and bear arms is solely linked to militia service. Thatâ€™s a myth invented by extremist gun control proponents whose long term goal is to disarm every law-abiding citizen in the country, but we expect the Supreme Court to slam the lid on that movement very soon.â€