Poll: Majority of Americans Believe the Second Amendment Exists to Keep ‘Tyrannical Government in Check’

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2015 file photo, a supporter of open carry gun laws, wears a pistol as he prepares for a rally in support of open carry gun laws at the Capitol, in Austin, Texas. Texas is still sorting out where firearms are allowed, and where they're …
AP/Eric Gay

While pushing for more gun control during a speech last week, President Joe Biden brought out the overused “hunting” argument as an excuse to infringe on Second Amendment rights.

“No one needs to have a weapon that can fire over 30, 40, 50, even up to 100 rounds, unless you think the deer are wearing Kevlar vests or something,” he said.

Much to the contrary, poll data shows a majority of Americans believe the Second Amendment exists to keep tyrannical governments in check — not to keep the freezer full of deer meat.

According to a Rasmussen report released on Monday, 54 percent of voters agree that America’s founders “explicitly wanted an armed citizenry to keep potentially tyrannical governments in check,” including 32 percent who strongly agree.

Rasmussen based their question on a direct quote from Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter account. Trump Jr.’s statement was in reply to President Biden’s warning in the same speech that Americans would “need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons” to “take on the government”:

Those who say the blood of liberty, the, uh, blood of patriots, you know, and all this stuff about how we’re going to have to move against the government. Well, the tree of liberty is not watered with the blood of patriots. What’s happened is that there never been– if you wanna–  think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15’s and maybe some nuclear weapons. The point is there’s always been the ability to limit– rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it.

Along party lines, Republicans agree that America’s founders “explicitly wanted an armed citizenry to keep potentially tyrannical governments in check.” Forty-six percent of Democrats and 58 percent of unaffiliated voters also agree. 

Despite the president’s fervor for gun control, the same poll found that a majority of Americans “don’t expect Congress to answer President Joe Biden’s demand for new gun control laws.”

Fifty-seven percent (57 percent) of U.S. voters don’t think Congress is likely to pass new gun control legislation. Only 34 percent of  U.S. voters believe Congress will approve new gun control laws, including 11 percent who think it is very likely.

Instead, a majority of voters agree that “stricter enforcement of existing gun control laws would do more to reduce gun violence in America.”

The survey of 775 U.S. likely voters was conducted on June 24 and 27, 2021. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. 


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