America, this is not our finest hour.
First, we find out that 42% of us don’t even realize that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is a law and now this: Apparently, 29% us believe that an armed rebellion might soon be necessary. Well, at least now the divide over gun control is beginning to make a little more sense.
Dan Cassino and Krista Jenkins of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind looked into public perception on guns following the Sandy Hook tragedy. In the poll released on May 1, the two professors found the following:
Overall, the poll finds that 29% of Americans think that an armed revolution in order to protect liberties might be necessary in the next few years, with another five percent unsure. However, these beliefs are conditional on party. Just 18 percent of Democrats think an armed revolution may be necessary, as opposed to 44 percent of Republicans and 27% of independents.
Cassino explains what this means within the context of the current gun control debate. “If you truly believe an armed revolution is possible in the near future, you need weapons and you’re going to be wary about government efforts to take them away.”
In addition to about three in 10 American voters believing that there is likely to be an armed revolt, a quarter of voters believe that the government is lying to the American people about the facts of Sandy Hook. The poll went onto to say that Republicans were more likely to believe that the truth about Sandy Hook was being suppressed.
This does begin to clear up some misunderstandings I had about why the hell Congress was holding joint-hearings on a conspiracy theory. I mean, if that many of their constituents believe in them, than perhaps these representatives are just doing what they were elected to do. There’s an old adage by Joseph de Maistre that translates into, “Every country has the government it deserves.” Based on this polling data, I’d say we deserve a lot worse.
*The survey was conducted via telephone from April 22 through April 28, 2013 using a random sample of 863 voters nationwide with a sampling error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.