People may not be reading magazines anymore, but they are loading them more than ever.
A recent NBC News poll found that gun ownership is at its highest level in almost 25 years, with 52 percent of voters either owning a gun or having one in their household. That is the highest level of recorded gun ownership in the poll’s history.
Meanwhile, a Harvard poll showed that 6 in 10 voters said gun ownership is necessary for self-defense. A majority of every political affiliation (Republican, Democrat and independent) answered affirmatively at 77 percent, 54 percent and 56 percent, respectively.
When asked if crime in their community is getting better, worse or staying about the same, 42 percent of voters said worse (only 21 percent said better). A full 90 percent said crime is either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” issue.
The most telling findings came when respondents were asked who they blamed for increasing crime. “Woke politicians are to blame for rising crime,” 55 percent of respondents said, while 67 percent supported “removing DA’s who are soft on crime.”
This should not come as a shock to anyone. Even before these polls were released, Americans rewarded the few incumbent officials who were tough on crime with landslide re-election.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended two state prosecutors who were soft on crime and pushed to expand “stand your ground” laws to include private businesses after the riots of 2020. Voters responded by handing DeSantis the largest electoral victory over a Democrat in Florida in over 100 years.
Americans understandably feel threatened from all sides right now. Crime stories have consistently driven the news cycle for at least three years.
We have seen high-profile lawmakers get attacked, like former California Sen. Barbara Boxer, Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig and Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar. Just this year, Beyonce’s mother Tina Knowles-Larson and rapper Drake had their homes burglarized.
If even the rich and powerful with all their resources are not safe, America’s Joe Six-Packs must be asking themselves how they can possibly be secure, especially after the successful efforts to defund the police in some of America’s largest cities.
These stories come as terrorism is on the rise again. The FBI recently foiled a potential terror attack by a Jordanian man on American soil. In 2022, we saw the thwarted jihadi assassination of former President George W. Bush and a siege on a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.
Regardless of how they may feel about becoming entangled in another foreign war, I suspect many Americans were inspired by the thousands of Ukrainians who took their safety into their own hands and began open-carrying rifles after Russia’s invasion.
Moreover, many recent efforts to expand the ability of Americans to defend themselves have proved successful.
Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, Montana, Utah and Wyoming passed constitutional carry (otherwise known as permitless carry) in 2021. The next year, Alabama, Ohio, Indiana and Georgia followed suit, with Florida and Nebraska joining in 2023.
There are now 27 states that authorize citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights with constitutional carry. South Carolina may soon add to that number, as constitutional carry has passed the state House and is awaiting passage in the state Senate.
Crime + political instability + expanded access + expanded legal protection is probably what has fed into the trend of increased gun ownership.
It likely explains why, “in the last ten years, we’ve grown [10 points] in gun ownership,” as pollster Micah Roberts of Public Opinion Strategies told NBC. “That’s a very stunning number,” Roberts added.
Americans should be encouraged by these figures. This a rare bipartisan embrace of a crucial right. It is always good for Americans to be more secure against both domestic threats and foreign ones.
There is a famous quote — “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass” — that is widely attributed to Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, who served Imperial Japan during World War II.
While scholars debate the quote’s exact origins, Americans should be proud that there may now be two guns behind every blade of grass.
Gun-owning Americans of all political stripes do not have to go out with a bang, but we can make sure the bad guys do.
The NBC poll was conducted among 1,000 registered voters from Nov. 10 to 14 with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
The Harvard poll was conducted among 2,851 registered voters from Nov. 15 to 16. No margin of error was provided.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.