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PRESS RELEASE - "National Poll Redefines the Gun Issue" [View All]

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CO Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 03:49 PM
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PRESS RELEASE - "National Poll Redefines the Gun Issue"
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National Poll Redefines the Gun Issue

Press Release
Americans for Gun Safety
Washington, DC

Democrats Can Eliminate "Gun Gap" With Centrist Stance

Washington, DC -
Democrats have had trouble with gun owning voters in recent years, but can make substantial headway with a moderate message of supporting gun rights, closing gun law loopholes, and vigorously enforcing existing laws, according to a poll and seven-step blueprint released today (Thursday) by Americans for Gun Safety (AGS).

The poll found that gun owning voters often assume that Democrats, particularly if they are silent on the issue, are anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment, and disrespectful of the values held by those who own firearms. It also found that a plurality of gun owners define themselves as moderates and will flock to Democratic candidates with a moderate gun position.

The poll was conducted for AGS by Penn Schoen & Berhland Associates with 802 interviews between October 1-6, 2003 among likely 2004 presidential election voters. In a generic congressional ballot, a Democrat trails a Republican who supports Second Amendment rights by a margin of 42-45%. When the Democrat is described as one who supports Second Amendment rights, closing gun law loopholes, and vigorous enforcement of existing laws, the Democrat wins 57-32%. Support for this "rights and responsibilities" Democrat increases from 30% to 44% among gun owners and from 52% to 68% among non-gun owners.

"If Democrats adopt a platform that balances gun rights with responsible policy the 'gun problem' could soon be a Republican problem," said AGS President Jon Cowan. "However, unless Democrats take back the Second Amendment, they could soon be extinct in many of the states that determine critical elections." The findings and the AGS document entitled "Taking Back the Second Amendment: A 7-Step Blueprint for Democrats to Promote Responsibility and Win the Gun Vote," take on conventional party wisdom suggesting that Democrats must avoid talking about guns. The poll shows that an enormous "gun gap" exists between gun owning and non-gun owning households. Gun owners have such hardened views on where Democrats stand on the gun issue that silence is not an option in so-called "red states" - states that voted for President Bush in 2000 and, not coincidentally, have gun ownership rates 35% higher than states that voted for Gore.

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