On Thursday, Rasmussen Reports, the American and polling media company, released the results of its latest poll on gun control, finding that 62 percent of Americans do not trust the government to fairly enforce gun control laws.
The national telephone survey of 1,000 Adults, conducted on Sept. 17-18, found that 62 percent of respondents did not trust the federal government to fairly enforce gun control laws. Only 26 percent said that gun control laws would be fairly enforced by the government, while 12 percent were unsure.
Additionally, 56 percent of voters consider the federal government a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those right, the poll stated.
The survey also questioned respondents about the likelihood that stricter gun-control laws would have prevented the mass shooting this past Monday at a Navy Yard in Washington D.C., where 13 people were killed, including the gunman.
Nineteen percent said that stricter gun laws would do the most to prevent mass shootings, which is down from 27 percent when Rasmussen asked the question in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
A majority of respondents — 57 percent — believe that the optimal way to limit mass shootings is to do more to address the issue of mental health, which is an increase from the 48 percent in the post-Newtown survey. Thirteen percent said that the putting restrictions on violent movies and video games would be the most effective way to reduce the threat of mass shootings.
Looking at the political breakdown of those numbers, 64 percent of Republicans, 50 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Independents thought that doing more to treat individuals with mental health issues would be the best way to reduce mass shootings.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of those who thought that tougher gun laws were the best solution to mass shootings where Democrats, 33 percent. Only 7 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of independents (those unaffiliated with a political party) thought that gun control would be the best option.
With respect to gun ownership and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, 74 percent believe that the constitution guarantees one’s right to own a firearm. Sixty-five percent also believe that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure the people are able to protect themselves from government tyranny.
Lastly, examining the overall picture, only 44 percent of the public believes that the U.S. needs stricter gun control laws.