Most Gun Owners Disagree With NRA on Gun Policy

Christopher Ingraham: “Only a small fraction of the nation’s gun owners are NRA members. Even among NRA members, there is widespread dissent from some key points of the organization’s orthodoxy. And on many gun control issues, the majority of gun owners who aren’t affiliated with the NRA hold opinions closer to those of non-gun owners than to those of NRA members.”

“In recent years the NRA has said it has 5 million dues-paying members. There’s some reason to be skeptical of this figure, but let’s assume 5 million is right.  Those 5 million members only comprise somewhere between 6 and 7 percent of American gun owners. That would imply that the overwhelming majority of American gun owners — over 90 percent of them — do not belong to the NRA.”

In addition, “survey data indicates that non-NRA gun owners hold positions on key gun rights issues that are closer to non-gun owners than they are to NRA members. And even within the universe of NRA members, considerable numbers of gun owners take policy positions that the organization opposes.”

“Taken as a whole, these numbers indicate that there’s a large and largely silent majority of gun owners who find themselves at odds with the NRA on key gun policy issues.”

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  • pisher

    Somehow, we have to clarify the distinction between regulating gun ownership and outlawing it. We regulate car ownership rigorously, and that mainly benefits car owners, and nobody complains about it. Cars do in fact kill a lot more Americans than guns–even now. But the psychological trauma and social unease created by gun deaths is hard to overstate. It eats away at our sense of ourselves as a people in unique ways, and the damage is mounting on a daily basis.

    This is not remotely what the Founders of this nation had in mind when they drafted that unfortunate political compromise that is the Second Amendment.

    • LKM

      Well, we do complain about it — a trip to the DMV is up there with a trip to the dentist — but we do it anyway. Perhaps because we reluctantly see there is a greater social good, but largely because its just the way it is and we don’t feel like fighting it. And that perhaps is as good an argument as any as to why regulation would be accepted. Once it’s in place and we haven’t experienced the apocalypse, then we’ll just calm down and live with it.

      • pisher

        Most of us will, but c’mon–some of us still haven’t accepted the results of the Civil War. 😉

    • jrow

      Automobiles are state regulated. Firearms are federally regulated. Big difference.

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