The Rolla Daily News conducted a six-question survey online Thursday and Friday to get a feel for what our readers think about guns and President Barack Obama's $500 million gun control plan.
We took the numbers from the RDN poll and compared them with the results of a nationwide Gallup poll. Here is what we found.
Not surprisingly, Rolla-area residents like their guns. They really like their guns. Of the 219 people that participated in the survey, 80 percent say there is a gun in their home. Nationwide, the Gallup poll indicated only 43 percent of American households have guns in their home.
"It is simple, the guns in a law abiding citizen's possession is actually a crime deterrent," wrote Shane Walter on the Rolla Daily News Facebook page. "The only people gun control will hurt is the lawful owners.
Criminals will always have guns and methods to achieve their goals. Controlling guns merely gives them a larger opportunity."
Of RDN survey takers, 25 percent have a concealed carry permit. Of those who do not, 43 percent are considering getting one, while only 31 percent say they have no interest.
When asked if federal gun laws should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are, 61 percent believe they should be kept where they are (Gallup: 34 percent); 22 percent feel they should be more strict (Gallup: 58 percent) and 17 percent believed they should be less strict (Gallup: 6 percent).
One hundred percent of people commenting on the RDN Facebook page believed — for various reasons — that gun control is not the way to decrease gun crime. In fact, many believe these crimes will go up with an increase in gun regulation.
"It will cause crime to raise," commented Doug Sarchette. "It has in every other situation that there has been gun control. The more gun control the higher the crime goes."
"Crime will continue and possibly get worse if home owners were not able to protect themselves or stop crimes in progress,' wrote Benjamin Lee Gates Jr. "They could possibly get injured or killed in process! I believe my right to own a gun protects your right to say what you will about guns!"
Only 16 percent of those responding to the RDN poll said increased gun control would make them feel more safe.
Seventy-eight percent of those responding to the RDN survey believe Obama's plan infringes on their Second Ammendment rights.
The question that divided readers the most was "Which of the following do you think is the main cause of gun violence?" The majority (28 percent) believed mental illness was to blame, followed by popular culture influences — violent movies, TV, video games, etc. (22 percent), poor parenting (20 percent). The availability of guns was last, with 11 percent of the vote. Nineteen percent of people answered "other."
Page 2 of 2 - Travis Queen offered his opinion on how to put an end to gun crimes, "The trick to reducing crime? Make the punishment fit the crime and arm all law-abiding citizens to the teeth, so criminals will be shaking in their boots. Simple. Effective. Straight-forward. Proven."