A newly-released report from the 2016 American National Election Studies (ANES) makes it official: More gun owners came through for Donald Trump in November than during the previous two presidential elections.
According to the Washington Post, 62 percent of gun owners voted for Trump, which was four percent more than voted for Mitt Romney and 10 percent more than voted for John McCain.
This may seem like a “Well, DUH” revelation, but it underscores what American gun owners figured out long ago. That is, Democrats have increasingly drifted away from guns and the people who own them, while Republicans have maintained gun owner support.
Put another way, Democrats have become known as “the party of Gun Control” for good reason. They earned it, much to the chagrin of those party stalwarts who still insist there are ten amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Underscoring this is a report from WHEC in New York that Empire State Democrats are pushing for even tighter gun control laws than now exist. The story notes that, “The bills are part of Democrats’ ‘resistance agenda’ that includes proposals to protect immigrants and compel President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.” In an effort to thumb their noses at the president, they want to further restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Researchers Mark Joslyn and Don Haider-Markel wrote in the Washington Post:
“We posit that gun ownership represents a cluster of values, such as strong individualism, distrust in government, and personal freedoms that are important to many people. This constellation of values can shape political attitudes and perceptions. The values intersect with conservative ideology and, increasingly, the Republican Party, but are more deeply held and practiced by gun owners.
“A gun owner is also supported by gun interest groups and a larger gun culture.”
And the authors didn’t stop there. A single paragraph later, Joslyn and Haider-Markel had this to add:
“But the strength and reliability of association between owning a gun and voting Republican is impressive. Across 11 presidential contests, gun ownership was more strongly linked to vote choice than such well-known predictors as gender, age and education. Clearly, voters are assessing candidates based on their position on gun rights; understanding this may offer insight into the distinct behaviors and attitudes of gun and non-gun owners.”
Where does that leave Democrats? Fewer Democrat voters own guns, and they increasingly support gun control to make themselves feel safer. Here’s what the authors said about that in the WaPo article:
“In 1976, 50 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents, and 45 percent of Democrats owned a gun. That changed in the 1980s and 1990s. By 2000, 30 percent of independents and only 27 percent of Democrats reported having a gun in the home. That drop continued among Democrats; by 2016, only 23 percent owned guns…
“…Sizable majorities of non-gun owners consistently vote for Democratic candidates, expanding during the Obama years – which, clearly, helps expand the ‘gun gap.’
“In our highly polarized and partisan climate, gun-rights groups increasingly advocate owning guns to stay safe, while gun-control groups advocate regulation and restriction for the same reason.”
Long story short, what gun owners have is self-reliance and what goes with that: individualism, a sense of freedom and the ability to take care of themselves.
What non-gun owners, and particularly anti-gunners may have is, well, something less.