A recent study from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll found that 73 percent of Democrats “say that Congress needs to pass new laws to protect the public from gun violence.” Sixty-five percent of Republicans don’t think so.The study also found that 44 percent of Republicans think an armed war against the government is a good idea.
The study “finds that attitudes regarding the perceived likelihood of an armed revolution to protect liberties . . . are helpful in explaining this divide” in gun control legislation. The poll’s analyst, Dan Cassino, professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University, shows that there is a correlation between where Republicans stand on gun control legislation and their belief that armed revolution is necessary.
“The differences in views of gun legislation are really a function of differences in what people believe guns are for,” said Cassino. “If you truly believe an armed revolution is possible in the near future, you need weapons and you’re going to be wary about government efforts to take them away.”
Republicans getting on the armed revolution wagon isn’t a new thing. When the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act last June, former GOP Spokesman Matt Davis “sent out an email that asked whether armed rebellion would be justified in the wake of the court’s decision.” His statement was made in reaction to a piece of health care legislation, but this Republican acted as if the government was going to kick in his door and take his family and possessions.
Davis seemed to make a backhanded call to arms in the letter as he quoted Benjamin Franklin saying, “the Republic would one day devolve into tyranny unless the people prevented it.”