There has been a sharp rise in concern over terrorism, with few Americans believing that the government can stop lone-wolf attacks (22-77 percent) and not many more can stop a large scale attack (43-56 percent). A new Gallup poll shows that terrorism has become the number one issue on voters’ minds (16% rank terrorism as the number one issue, 13% say government, and 9% say the economy).
President Obama keeps pushing for more gun control as the solution to the threat of terrorism.
We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons—weapons of war—to kill as many people as they could. It’s another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.
For example, right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I’m calling on Congress to close this loophole, now. We may not be able to prevent every tragedy, but—at a bare minimum—we shouldn’t be making it so easy for potential terrorists or criminals to get their hands on a gun that they could use against Americans. . . .
A new ABC News/Washington Post Poll puts asks people whether the best way to respond to terrorism is stricter gun control or letting people carry permitted concealed handguns for protection. A majority of Republicans and Independents, moderates and conservatives, as well as those in the broad middle class view permitted concealed handguns as the preferred solution (see below).
A recent CNN poll from October had a smaller difference of only 2 percentage points, but it mentions neither the words “concealed” nor “legal.”
UPDATE: Hillary Clinton was asked about this ABC News/Washington Post survey during the December 19, 2015 Democratic Presidential Debate.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, in the wake of the San Bernardino attack, you all emphasized gun control. But our latest poll shows that more Americans believe arming people, not stricter gun laws, is the best defense against terrorism. Are they wrong?
CLINTON: “Well, I think you have to look at both the terrorism challenge that we face abroad and certainly at home and the role that guns play in delivering the violence that stalks us. Clearly, we have to have a very specific set of actions to take. When senator Sanders talks about a coalition, I agree with him about that. We’ve got to build a coalition abroad. We also have to build a coalition at home. Abroad we need a coalition that is going to take on ISIS. I know how hard that is. I know it isn’t something you just hope people will do –”
RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, can we stick to gun control?”
CLINTON: “I’m getting to that. Because I think if you only think about the coalition abroad you’re missing the main point, which is we need a coalition here at home. Guns in and of themselves in my opinion will not make Americans safer. We lose 33,000 people a year already to gun violence. Arming more people to do what I think is not the appropriate response to terrorism. I think what is
The White House was also asked about the changing polls on gun control and had this answer, that closing the “no fly, no buy loophole” was popular.