by Dave Workman
A stunning majority of Americans responding to a recent poll by The OLeary Report and Zogby International support licensed concealed carry laws, and a slightly higher majority believe that hunting is an essential part of wildlife management.
The poll, conducted Dec. 15-19, 2003 in cooperation with Southern Methodist Universitys John Goodwin Tower Center, polled 1,200 voters nationwide with a margin of error of plus/minus 2.9%. It separated voters in states that voted for Al Gore in 2000, the so-called Blue States from those who backed George Bush, in the Red States.
According to the poll results, 80% of the Red state respondents support right-to-carry laws, and a surprising 77% of Blue state voters also back such laws. Gunowners favored the law by an 86%-12% margin, and even 73% of the respondents who said they were not gunowners support such statutes.
According to the report, This result represents a significant improvement from 2001 when we asked a nearly identical question in which 66% agreed with the right-to-carry position.
In another category, 69% of Red state respondents believe there should be no new gun laws, and that current laws should be enforced. Sixty-three percent of the Blue state respondents agreed, while 28% of Red staters and 34% of Blue state respondents support the notion of additional gun laws.
Those who identified themselves as liberals were more strongly in favor of adding new gun laws, by a 56% margin, the survey found. Political moderates favored enforcing current laws by a 62%-34% margin, and conservatives were overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing current laws.
Nationwide, 64% of voters agree with the NRA that the organization properly opposed gun control legislation, with 54% of Democrats supporting NRA and a whopping 73% siding with the association. In Red states, 67% agree with the NRA while 61% of the Blue state voters agree with the NRAs battle.
The survey revealed, however, a split among religious denominations in this category. Sixty-six percent of identified Catholics and 65% of identified Protestants support the NRA, while 81% of the Jewish respondents and 88% of the Muslims oppose the NRA.
Just how invasive an insurance company can get when it writes policies on homeowners and life insurance also drew a lopsided response. Red state voters by an 82% margin dont like insurance companies to ask about firearms ownership or lifestyle choices, and an almost identical 81% of the Blue state voters dont like the idea, either.
Also in Red states, 74% of the respondents do not support the notion that firearm manufacturers can be sued for selling a legal product that is not defective if that product is used in a crime. Seventy-two percent of the Blue state voters also dont like that idea.
A surprising revelation from this question was that 68% of the respondents identified as liberals and 70% of those calling themselves moderates are opposed to such lawsuits. Eighty-two percent of the gunowners oppose gun industry lawsuits, and overall, opposition to such a premise consistently ran above 70%, the report stated.
A lopsided 92% of gunowners and 73% of the non-gunowners surveyed support hunting as a tradition and say it is essential to wildlife management. In Red states, there is 85% support for hunting while only 11% felt that hunting is a cruel sport and should be outlawed. In Blue states, 77% favor hunting, while 16% dont like it.
In a related question, 66% of the Red state respondents favor longer hunting seasons to reduce overpopulations of deer, bear or wolves, while 16% want populations reduced by non-lethal methods and 13% think states should learn to live with wildlife. In the Blue states, the margins ran 57% in favor of longer seasons, 20% favoring non-lethal methods and 18% suggesting that residents learn to live with wildlife..