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Polls Show Public Recognizes NRA Works for a Safer America; Opposes Semi-auto Ban

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Despite a decades-long smear campaign that has been ratcheted up to hysteria in recent months, new polls show that Americans recognize NRA’s positive influence on the country, and that the public is less likely than ever to support a ban on popular semi-automatic firearms.

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A Rasmussen poll conducted November 30–December 1, asked individuals, “[t]he NRA supports gun policies that make all Americans safer. Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with this statement?” 61-percent of respondents stated that they agreed with the statement, with over a third of all respondents answering that they strongly agreed.

These numbers illustrate that a majority of Americans see through media depictions of NRA, to our work on gun policies that empower individuals to provide for the defense of themselves, families, and communities, along with our programs that educate the public on the safe handling and use of firearms. These results must be of particular disappointment to the media, which has been conducting an anti-NRA campaign recently, offering some of the most deplorable and unprincipled attacks in memory.

Also disappointed must be the New York Times, who has in recent weeks abandoned the last vestiges of journalistic ethics in order to conduct a crusade for gun control. A New York Times and CBS News poll conducted December 4-8 asked survey respondents, “[d]o you favor or oppose a nationwide ban on assault weapons?” Despite the question containing the inaccurate and misleading term “assault weapons,” a mere 44-percent supported such a measure, with 50-percent opposed. Illustrating a shift that is certain to make architect of the campaign against “assault weapons” Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center despondent, when posed this question in an August 1999 poll, 76-percent of respondents favored a ban.

Moreover, the poll asked “[r]egardless of how you usually vote, do you think the Republican party or the Democratic party would make the right decisions when it comes to gun laws?”  Respondents favored the Republicans’ handling of the gun issue, with the party receiving 41-percent of responses, to the Democrats’ 37-percent. Those concerned with the Democratic party branding no doubt realize that their leading candidate for president’s comments favoring gun confiscation are unlikely to help bridge this deficit.

With recent attacks on NRA and our gun rights at a fever-pitch, these polls are an encouraging validation that, thanks in no small part to the tireless work of NRA members, the public is ignoring the media narrative on firearms and embracing NRA and their right to keep and bear arms.

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