Poll: Vast Majority in U.S. Support Concealed Carry, Self Defense

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Despite anti-gun zealots’ exploitation of Trayvon Martin’s now-infamous killing in late February, a new survey revealed that the vast majority of Americans continue to support the use of deadly force if needed in self-defense – even outside of the home. Laws permitting the carrying of concealed weapons have overwhelming public support as well, according to the Ipsos/Reuters poll released last week.

A whopping 87 percent of respondents – including 85 percent of self-described Democrats – said they support laws allowing citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves from danger in their own homes. Less than 10 percent opposed such laws. In public places, more than two thirds said the law should allow people to protect themselves from danger with deadly force.

“People have always thought in this country that they have the right to defend themselves from danger or from harm,” Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson told The New American in a phone interview. “We still see that even in public places … with deadly force if necessary.”

When it comes to allowing citizens to bear arms, 75 percent of those surveyed support laws to permit concealed carry of weapons. Even 72 percent of self-identified Democrats expressed support for gun-rights on the issue. One reason for the results might be the realization that police cannot stop all crime: according to the poll, almost everybody knows that.

Supporters of the Second Amendment celebrated the survey findings, but the impressive collection of data was barely noticed by the press. Reuters, which commissioned the survey, did produce one article dealing with the results.

For the most part, however, the establishment media completely failed to report the findings – possibly because they so obviously clashed with the incessant repetition of words like “controversial” before almost every mention of Florida’s popular self-defense laws. Reuters used the same adjective as well, again and again.

"The controversial 2005 Florida law grants immunity to people who use deadly force in self defense," claimed Andrew Longstreth in an April 4 "analysis" for Reuters, for example. And a Reuters reporter wrote on March 23: “The shakeup at the state level was more surprising as Gov. Rick Scott [pictured above] … formed a task force to review Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.”

Apparently, however, the law was not quite as controversial as Reuters and other media would have liked readers to believe. Still, analysts are not expecting corrections any time soon. And the press was hardly alone in seeking to manufacture controversy where no real debate truly existed. Fueled by largely irrelevant anti-gun extremists, political opportunists and politicians participated in the hysteria, too.

After the shooting of Martin attracted national attention, anti-Second Amendment activists even tried to pin the blame on the NRA. “This tragic shooting represents the National Rifle Association’s vision for America,” claimed Brady Campaign boss Dan Gross in a statement trying to score cheap political points by exploiting a tragedy. Another Brady executive, Vice President Dennis Henigan, said: "We have called Florida the NRA’s armed utopia."

But based on the recent poll results, the demonization strategy has been a spectacular failure. More than two thirds of those surveyed held a favorable view of the National Rifle Association (NRA) – including about 55 percent of Democrats.

"Regardless of how others try to distort our position, the general public knows where we stand," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam was quoted as saying. "It shows the failure of the continuing efforts of many to try and discredit the National Rifle Association."

Meanwhile, efforts to link strong protections of gun rights and self-defense laws to violence and crime have accelerated. After the fatal shooting in Florida, anti-gun activists – or victim-disarmament advocates, as they are known among critics – repeatedly attempted to blame the state’s relatively looser restrictions for the killing.

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