New Harvard/Harris Poll Shows Majority of Voters Believe Guns Are for Self-Defense

In a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll conducted on Nov. 15-16, 2023, a substantial majority of American voters, six in ten, asserted that owning a firearm is an indispensable aspect of safeguarding themselves against criminal threats, reported Breitbart.

The poll delved into perceptions of crime and safety within communities, prompting respondents to opine whether the situation was improving, deteriorating, or remaining stable.

The findings disclosed that 42% of voters perceived a worsening scenario, while only 21% believed that their communities were becoming safer. A significant statistic emerged among independents, with 49% expressing concern about the deteriorating state due to crime.

A consensus prevailed across party lines when the question shifted to individual views on the necessity of gun ownership for self-defense.

Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike demonstrated majority support for the idea that possessing a firearm is a vital means of protection.

54% of Democrats, 77% of Republicans, and 56% of independents asserted the necessity of owning a gun for self-defense.

A significant portion of those polled implicated “woke politicians” as contributors to the surge in crime rates. The poll registered 55 percent of voters concurring that “Woke politicians” are to blame for rising crime, while 45 percent disagreed. Furthermore, an overwhelming 67 percent of respondents advocated removing District Attorneys perceived as lenient on crime.

In contrast, a September Pew Research poll indicated that approximately three-quarters (72%) of gun owners identified protection as a major motivation for firearm possession.

The dynamics of gun ownership motivations have seen only modest shifts since a Pew 2017 survey on attitudes toward gun ownership and policies. Back then, 67% of gun owners identified “protection” as a significant incentive for firearm possession.

As the debate surrounding gun ownership intensifies, opinions on its impact on public safety remain divided. About half of respondents (49%) believe that gun ownership enhances safety by enabling law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. In contrast, an equal share argues that it jeopardizes safety by providing excessive access to firearms and increasing misuse.

The November survey by Harvard CAPS/Harris, conducted online in the United States on Nov. 15-16, 2023, engaged 2,851 registered voters. The Harris Poll and HarrisX administered the survey.

Jim Thomas |

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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