Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Women vs the 2nd Amendment

By The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - 1/21/2013

'When Wisconsinites were polled last year about a new state law allowing possession of concealed weapons, most men supported it.

But women were overwhelmingly opposed.

In fact, no other issue in Marquette Law School's broad and frequent polling of Wisconsin voters last year so divided the sexes -- not Medicare, "Obamacare," gay marriage, taxes, school funding, collective bargaining, recalls, mining, military spending, abortion or immigration.

In one January 2012 poll, the gender gap on "concealed carry" was a massive 27 points -- 59% approval among men, 32% among women.
This is a look at two key fault lines in public opinion about guns. Gender is one. Partisanship is the other.

Democrats and Republicans have drifted far apart on guns, as they have on so many issues. That poses a huge obstacle to getting legislation passed in a period of divided government, because there is so little common ground between the parties.

The gender gap on guns also has big political implications. Just as the Democratic Party may have been hurt with male voters in the past by supporting gun control, the Republican Party risks compounding its problems with female voters in taking a hard line against gun restrictions.

Overall, national polls point to a public shift in favor of stricter gun laws since the school massacre last month in Newtown, Conn.

But while there's broad support for some changes in the gun laws, the public is divided over others -- by region, age, type of community (urban, suburban, rural), and especially gender and party.

Gender gap on guns.

As a simple yardstick of opinion on the issue, the nonpartisan Pew poll asks whether it's more important to "protect the right of Americans to own guns" or to "control gun ownership."

Pew has consistently found big differences between men and women on this question over the past 20 years.

In Pew's latest national poll (Jan. 9-13), 51% of men but only 38% of women said it was more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns; 57% of women but only 44% of men said it was more important to control gun ownership.

The gender gap was modest among the most partisan voters. But it was massive among political independents.

Among independents, 58% of men said it was more important to protect gun rights, compared with 36% of women; 60% of women said it was more important to control gun ownership, compared with 38% of men.

The gender gap is much bigger on some gun issues than on others, polls indicate.

There are huge differences between men and women on banning semiautomatic weapons, a step favored by 67% of women but only 48% of men in Pew's most recent national survey.

There's also a big gender gap over arming teachers and school officials, an idea backed by 47% of men but only 32% of women.

The gender gap is smaller on two proposals seen as having a better chance at passage: banning high-capacity ammunition clips, supported by 57% of women and 50% of men, and background checks for private gun sales and gun shows, backed by 88% of women and 83% of men.

The "concealed carry" issue cited is not part of the national post-Newtown gun debate. But it does illustrate how divided men and women can be on gun issues in a swing state with lots of gun owners -- about half the voters in Wisconsin on Nov. 6 said they had a gun in their household, according to the exit poll done here.

Marquette Law School polled on the legalization of concealed weapons three times last year, and each time there was a huge difference -- 23, 25 and 27 points -- in the percentage of men and women who supported the law. No other issue Marquette polled on during the year produced such a large gender gap.

"You're seeing the potential for women reacting to an issue quite differently than men," says political scientist Charles Franklin, who conducted the Marquette polls. "And it has a partisan impact, reinforcing women's support for Democrats and reinforcing men's support for Republicans."

Partisan gap on guns.

The partisan gap on guns is bigger than the gender gap and has been growing over time.

On Pew's basic yardstick of gun rights vs. gun control, there is a chasm between the parties: 70% of Republicans say it's more important to protect gun rights compared with 22% of Democrats; 73% of Democrats say it's more important to control gun ownership compared with 27% of Republicans. Independents were almost evenly divided on the question.

Other polls indicate a similar pattern. In a survey this month by Gallup, 64% of Democrats wanted stricter gun laws, but only 18% of Republicans did.

Gap has grown over years.

These differences are much bigger today than they were 10 or 20 years ago, according to Pew's polling.

In 1993, 45% of Republicans and 25% of Democrats said protecting gun rights was more important than controlling gun ownership.

In 2007, 50% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats said protecting gun rights was more important.

But during Barack Obama's presidency, that gap has grown much wider -- not because Democratic attitudes have changed, but because Republicans have become that much more in favor of gun rights.

"This issue has become a much more partisan issue, even (more) than it was a decade ago," says Scott Keeter of the Pew Research Center. "The Republican Party has more clearly become an anti-gun control party and the Democratic Party, while it still may have a fair amount of diversity on the issue, has become more pro-gun control."

Because the distance between the parties is even bigger among members of Congress than it is among voters, the partisan gap over guns is now a huge obstacle to legislative action on the issue.

The shift in public opinion toward gun restrictions since the Newtown school shooting could prompt Congress to act on the most popular and least divisive proposals, such as expanding background checks.

But polls also say that overall public support for stricter gun laws, while rising since Newtown, is still lower than it was during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

(c)2013 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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