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Nearly 30% of Americans advocate for an armed rebellion

Published time: May 02, 2013 21:39
Edited time: May 03, 2013 08:28
AFP Photo / Mario Tama

AFP Photo / Mario Tama

Nearly one-third of Americans say an armed revolution might need to occur in the next few years to prevent an escalating war against constitutional liberties, a new study finds.

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind surveyed 863 US residents randomly in late April and found that 29 percent of those polled believe a revolution isn’t just imminent but imperative.

According to the study, 29 percent of Americans agree that “an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties” during the next few years. Forty-seven percent said they disagreed with the statement entirely, with one-fifth of the sample saying they weren’t sure how to answer.

When quizzing only the most conservative of respondents, though, the call for revolution is supported by a much more significant chunk of the sample pool. PublicMind found that 44 percent of Republicans polled in the survey agree that an armed revolt is the answer to an apparent infringement of liberties. By comparison, 27 percent Independents agreed with the statement, as did only 18 percent of Democrats polled.

Pollsters say there is a reason for this inkling towards revolution, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it involves a constitutional right that has become increasingly more of a contested issue among members of Congress and regular citizens alike in recent month. At the heart of this issue, suggests PublicMind, is the gun control debate that has rekindled discussion of the Second Amendment since last year’s Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook, Connecticut shootings. According to the results of a second question asked during the study, 73 percent of Democrats say Congress needs new gun laws to protect Americans from gun violence, but 65 percent of Republicans are against any changes whatsoever to current legislation..

If there was a bipartisan moment after Sandy Hook to pass gun control legislation, it’s past,” Fairleigh Dickinson professor of political science Dan Cassino writes in the report that accompanies the poll. “Partisan views have strongly re-asserted themselves, and there’s no sign that they’ll get any weaker.”

The differences in views of gun legislation are really a function of differences in what people believe guns are for,” Cassino adds. “If you truly believe an armed revolution is possible in the near future, you need weapons and you’re going to be wary about government efforts to take them away.”

Earlier this week, RT covered a separate poll conducted recently by Fox News in which respondents were asked, “Would you be willing to give up some of your personal freedom in order to reduce the threat of terrorism?” The result of that survey when coupled with similar ones made during the last dozen years or so reveals that Americans are less willing now to part with personal freedoms in exchange for an added sense of security than they were after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Whether or not the government overreacted in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 (and, given the information available at the time, reasonable people can disagree), Americans then broadly supported a vigorous domestic counterterrorism policy,” Alan Rozenshtein wrote for Lawfare Blog. “This time around, a rights-restrictive approach might not garner the same public support — if indeed that’s the road the government intends to go down.”

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