Given that there are so many ways in which this state is divided, you can imagine the shock the other day when some polling data emerged showing that, at least on one issue, we are pretty much united.
And that issue is, of all things, guns!
Yeah. It seems so incredible, given the cultural attitudes in this state, with the lower part of the state decidedly less giddy about guns than those compatriots Up North, where weapons are deeply woven into their fabric of life.
But there it was in black and white.
Question: Do you favor stricter gun laws?
By a whopping 43-point margin, 68% to 25%, the folks Up North said yes. And that was even a couple of notches above the overall statewide average of support, pegged at 66% to 27%.
As you know, sometimes, polling can be misleading or maybe even misunderstood.
So, just to be on the safe side, there was a need for a deeper dive into what they call in the biz the cross tabs. Those are the areas of the study that look at how various elements of the voting public respond to the question.
And there it was in black and white again.
Based on education levels, it was across the board support: 65% of those with less than a high school diploma wanted tougher laws; 64% with more than just a high school education agreed; and, among those with a college degree, 68% concurred.
Based on age, across the board support: Those between 18 and 34, it’s 67%; 35 to 49, 65%; 50 to 64, 65%; and those over the age of 65, 71%.
Based on ethnicity: African Americans, 81%; whites, 67%.
Based on a regional breakdown, it was Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties clocking in at 73% support, and all other regions gave support in the 64% to 66% range. Only in Central Michigan was the support at an even 50%.
But wait, there’s more.
When the polling firm EPIC-MRA asked about legislation to curb weapon violence, the positive numbers jumped out again.
By a 55% to 43% margin, most wanted to ban assault weapons. Getting 57% support was limiting the size of gun magazines so that some shooter could not rattle off a hundred rounds in a few seconds. When it came to banning weapons in schools, the numbers mushroomed to 72% vs. 23%. And on the often-discussed possible need to beef up background checks on anyone who wants to buy a gun, the consensus was darn near unanimous, at 90%.
You can’t find anything else in this state where 90% head nod in the same direction.
Even the gender category saw support but by wider margins. It was 57% of the men vs. 74% of women who wanted gun control action.
Now, maybe all the gun owners were out of the state when the survey was taken, or, as the anti-gun lobby is likely to conclude, perhaps all of the school, mall, movie theatre, and person-to-person gun violence is finally taking it’s toll?
And, if those numbers are accurate, will the decidedly pro-NRA state Legislature reflect on the apparent will of the people and move some of this stuff?
To date, the score card reads pretty much a goose egg.
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