Survey shows stark racial contrast on gun rights in the nation’s capital
A new poll on gun rights in Washington, D.C., released Thursday shows a sharp divide along racial and economic lines with affluent whites favoring a gun ban and poorer black residents opposing it.
The survey of 1,005 D.C. residents, conducted by the Washington Post between November 12 and 15, found a bare majority of D.C. residents—51 percent— support banning all guns, while nearly as many—47 percent—oppose it.
The Post‘s analysis of the respondents’ racial and economic background show a gun ban is most popular among white residents and least popular among black residents. The paper also found that 67 percent of whites with college degrees supported the idea of a ban, 5 percent more than whites in general.
Sixty-one percent of those making more than $100,000 per year supported the ban—whose racial makeup was not specified—while only about 40 percent of those making less than $50,000 did.
They also found that younger, newer residents of the city supported a gun ban at a higher rate than the general population.
Despite the bare majority of support for a gun ban, the poll found that a bare plurality, 43 percent, said such a ban wouldn’t make a difference in making the city safer. Forty-two percent said a ban would make the city safer. Twelve percent said it would make the city less safe and 3 percent had no opinion.
One resident the Post spoke with said a gun ban would violate the Second Amendment and guns aren’t to blame for gun violence. “Isn’t that in the…the 2nd Amendment, no they shouldn’t ban guns,” Idriis Bilaal, 88, a resident of D.C. who lives north of Capitol Hill, told the paper. “Guns don’t kill nobody, they just lay there. A man should be able to own a gun if he wants to. It doesn’t mean he has to use it wrongly.”