The latest Gallup poll gives us a glimpse into just how the concept of personal safety and gun ownership is getting played out within the American psyche today. The latest Gallup survey shows that more and more Americans are much less shy about admitting their gun-loving proclivities than ever before. 47% of American adults report having a gun in their home or elsewhere on their property, up from 41% just a year ago. But an even more intriguing stat is the state of gun proximity among those citizens who identify politically as Democrats: a jump from 32% last year to 40% in 2011.
And Gallup also reports that public support for personal gun rights is at an all time high. 73% of Americans support the Second Amendment to our Constitution and only 26% believe gun possession should be banned. The chart below tracks America’s attitude toward gun control, reaching back to 1959. How very interesting that at that point in our history, the majority of Americans supported a ban on personal gun ownership (60%). But this political perspective changed dramatically by the late 1960s. I guess when citizens feel safe in their homes and in their communities, they are more apt to believe in a benign government and will take comfort in the supposed rationality of their fellow men and women. In the 1950s, people didn’t even lock their doors and kids ran here, there, and everywhere without the need for adult supervision. But by 1970, that idyllic daydream of an ideal life was dead and gone and the national naivete about the Second Amendment was definitely over.