Looks like someone has been spending money to poll New Jersey residents about gun control. The Garden State has among the lowest rates of gun ownership in the country, and people who don’t exercise their rights aren’t going to generally be that concerned with the rights of others. I think most people only support rights they view as affecting themselves positively, and care not a whit for rights values by others if they themselves don’t value them. The solution is to recruit more gun owners. You can see the press release from Rutgers here, which does have some encouraging signs:
Nearly two-thirds of New Jersey voters say controlling gun ownership is more important than gun owner rights. This represents a decline since 1999, when 73 percent preferred gun control over gun owner rights. Today, 72 percent without guns at home say gun control is more important than owner rights, 31 points higher than voters in gun owning households. “The stereotype is that those with guns want nothing to do with restricting their rights,” said Redlawsk. “Here, that also appears mostly true. While many with guns at home say gun ownership should be controlled, a majority thinks owners’ rights should trump. Overall we’ve seen a small move toward the gun owner rights position over time.”
It’s at least heading in the right direction.
Voters prefer to see the state’s gun laws tightened: 47 percent want stricter laws while 11 percent want them more lax. Twenty-eight percent prefer the status quo. While a plurality would tighten laws, the percentage is down from the 58 percent who wanted stricter laws in 1999. [...]
[...] “While New Jersey is less supportive of gun rights than many places, there has been a conservative trend over the past decade,” noted Redlawsk. “More people are concerned about violence. Most still want gun control, but the number favoring fewer restrictions has clearly grown.”
Getting some of New Jersey’s laws overturned would probably go a long way to fixing this problem. The poll clearly shows once people are gun owners, their support for restrictions tend to drop. I’d also note that many New Jersey gun owners have little idea that the hell their state puts them through to exercise their right is highly unusual, and is not how things are handled in most other states.