NRA Still More Popular Than Media

-By Warner Todd Huston

For all the abuse the Old Media establishment has dished out to the National Rifle Association this month, polls show that the NRA is still more popular than the media.

Gallup released a poll this month stating that the NRA stands at 54 percent approval.

Fifty-four percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the National Rifle Association, while 38% have an unfavorable opinion. The public’s ratings of the NRA have fluctuated since first measured by Gallup in 1993 — from a low of 42% favorable in 1995 to a high of 60% in 2005.

On the other hand, the same polling firm shows that the media is distrusted at 60 percent! Approval rates for the media are below 30 percent.

And Congress? Their approval rate was last measured by Gallup at 21 percent.

Even the president hovers around the same rating Gallup gives the NRA. Recently Obama was rated at 56 percent by Gallup, but only a few months ago, just before winning re-election, he was below 50 percent.

So, it is interesting to see who is casting aspersions on whom.

It must also be remembered that, even as the political class and the Old Media establishment have been attacking the pro-Second Amendment group, the NRA has 4.3 million members!

Millions of Americans back the NRA with voluntary paying of dues and you can bet that millions more support the work of the NRA even though they aren’t inclined to actually formally join and pay dues.

Finally, a few statistics are important to note, here. As liberals run from TV show to radio show claiming we have a “gun crisis” both violent crime and death rates by guns have fallen and they’ve fallen at the same time that every state but one (Illinois) has passed concealed carry laws that have necessarily increased the number of guns “on the street” and in the hands of civilians.

Ed Morrissey recently noted these facts.

Over the last 20 years, the firearm crime rate has dropped, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 6 victims per 1,000 residents in 1994 to 1.4 victims per 1,000 residents in 2009. The 1.4/1000 is the same rate as in 2004, the last year in which the “assault weapons” ban was in place. Part of this is from an overall decline in violent crime over the same period, but that doesn’t account for all of the improvement. Firearm crimes accounted for 11% of all violent crime in 1993 and 1994, but was 8% of all such crime in 2009.

The loss of even one life is nothing to easily dismiss. But “crises” are not measured in single digits. Our society is far too violent, to be sure. But to claim that we’ve arrived at a crisis is simply absurd. We do have work to do on our national psyche. But the facts state that the problem is not as bad as it was only a decade ago.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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