You know President Obama and his allies are losing the gun argument when his greatest supporters are against him: Reason/Rupe released a scientific poll which found the majority of Americans–particularly young Americans–support the right of people to own so-called “assault weapons.”
Of the 1,000 adults surveyed, 51 percent of respondents support the private ownership of “assault weapons,” while 44 percent were opposed. It may come as a shock to the public that the strongest advocates for private ownership are young Americans, the same age demographic that overwhelmingly supported the President in his reelection.
The poll found that 70 percent of young Americans ages 18-24 agree that Americans “should be allowed” to own “assault weapons,” while only 27 percent believe they should be prohibited. A recent study conducted by American University also showed that 60 percent of young Americans either already plan to or are considering purchasing a firearm for their home in the future.
The Reason/Rupe poll showed that the majority of respondents under the age of 54 believe that Americans should be able to own “assault weapons,” while older Americans believe they should be prohibited (58-36 percent).
The results of this poll were significantly different from those reported by the mainstream media; Reason/Rupe attributes the divergent results to the wording of the question in each poll.
Reason/Rupe asked a straightforward question, “Do you think people should be prohibited from owning assault weapons, or should people be allowed to own them?”; other outlets, however, muddled the issue with misleading information, such as a CNN poll that used an AK-47 as an example of a “semi-automatic” weapon and an AP poll that asked if “military-style, rapid-fire guns” should be banned.
Below is Reason’s comparison of the results of polls taken in the last month on the ownership of “assault weapons” dependent upon their wording: