After an event like a mass shooting, news organizations and polling agencies start asking Americans what they think. For example, CNN is reporting on a poll they conducted that shows more than half of Americans oppose stricter gun control laws:
Nearly three weeks after the latest mass shooting claimed the lives of nine people, 52% of Americans now oppose stricter gun control laws, 6 percentage points more than the 46% of Americans who support such laws. That’s a wider gap than in June when CNN last surveyed Americans on gun control, finding that the public was equally split at 49% on the issue.
The advantage of those opposed to stricter gun control laws over those in favor is outside of the poll’s 3-point margin of error.
They polled other topics, like do guns in public places make us safer and should a buyer have to get a background check before buying a gun.
Another poll conducted by Gallup asked about concealed carry. The Washington Free Beacon reports Gallup asked, “if more Americans carried concealed weapons, would the United States be safer or less safe?”
Fifty-six percent answered they thought the United States would be safer.
You’ll see these polls conducted by left wing groups and right wing groups, by progressive organizations and libertarian outfits. More often than not, the results support the position of whoever contracted the poll.
Here’s the question you need to at least consider asking when you hear the results of polls: so what?
There are two reasons for this. First, polls are often about the wording.
The Wall Street Journal talked about this here:
Subtle differences in how poll questions are phrased, or in which choices are offered as responses, have a significant effect on polling results. Several recent surveys involving hot-button topics, including Americans’ belief about Mr. Obama’s religion, illustrate how a problematic poll number can take on a life of its own.
Seemingly absurd polling questions give respondents the opportunity to express hostility even if they don’t literally believe their answer, says Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, a nine-year-old Democratic polling firm. “You may not literally think Obama is the antichrist, but [the question] gives you the opportunity to say just about the meanest thing possible you can say about anyone,” he says.
The second reason is that we aren’t a democracy, therefore it doesn’t matter what a majority of the people feel or think.
For example, let’s say there’s another tragedy in America regarding guns, only this time, it’s so horrible 100 percent of Americans say they’re for banning all guns and confiscating them immediately.
So what? We are not a democracy and furthermore, rights can’t be voted away. The majority has no power to vote away the rights of the minority.
We hear protesters marching and in unison they chant, “This is what democracy looks like!”
They are right. Democracy is mob rule, which is exactly why the Founding Fathers created a Constitutional Republic. They wholly rejected the idea that democracy was a good form of government.
Alexander Hamilton said, “”We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of a dictatorship.”
He also wrote in his last letter that “our real disease is democracy.”
He wasn’t alone in his contempt for this form of government. Thomas Jefferson said, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”
James Madison wrote in Federalist 10 that pure democracies “have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
This is exactly why you should not let polls influence your position on issues, but should base it instead on principles. It doesn’t matter if 100 percent of Americans think you should surrender your guns.
Our rights are natural and cannot be voted away, regardless of the size of the majority.