May 28, 2023
A new Rasmussen survey says 60% of likely voters think violent crime is on the upswing. People are buying guns for personal protection. (Dave Workman), iStock-493479140
A new Rasmussen survey says 60% of likely voters think violent crime is on the upswing. People are buying guns for personal protection. (Dave Workman), iStock-493479140

A new Rasmussen survey has revealed that 60 percent of “likely U.S. voters” think violent crime is on the rise, although the percentage is actually down two points from October 2022.

This may come as a surprise to the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ), which reported in January that violent crime actually declined last year, with homicides down 4 percent from 2021, aggravated assault down 3.5 percent and assaults involving firearms down 7 percent.

Still, gun sales are apparently continuing at a level of more than one million a month, based on National Instant Check System data adjusted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Raw data from the FBI’s NICS system shows there were 3,036,667 initiated background checks in March. However, NSSF does a monthly adjustment reflecting more closely the number of NICS checks initiated that actually involve firearms transactions. Their estimate for March is 1.56 million, reflecting a 6.8 percent decline compared to the March 2022 adjusted figure of 1.67 million.

Still, March was the 44th consecutive month when the adjusted background check number exceeded 1 million, NSSF noted.

Police manpower has declined in several major cities, which may be one contributing factor to the continued gun sales. People are taking more responsibility for their own safety, and stories involving defensive gun use by private citizens are being reported more widely. For example, the shooting of a suspected car thief in San Antonio, Texas by the vehicle’s owner several days ago has apparently made news all over the world, according to

According to Rasmussen, 77 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of identified Democrats, and 63 percent of independent “voters believe the problem of violent crime in America is getting worse.”

On the other hand, Rasmussen says, “ 30% of Democrats, 12% of Republicans, and 10% of unaffiliated voters think the crime problem is getting better.”

The survey was conducted March 27-29 with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence, Rasmussen noted.

The numbers are almost evenly split when it comes to the public’s perception of how President Joe Biden is handling crime issues, with 42 percent giving him a poor rating and 41 percent saying he is doing good to excellent on crime and law enforcement issues.

So, while violent crime was down last year, could a contributing factor in the public’s perception be media sensationalism of violent crime? Biden and Capitol Hill Democrats, along with the gun prohibition lobby moved swiftly to exploit the school shooting in Nashville ten days ago. Gun rights groups responded, including the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which said the country doesn’t have a “gun crisis,” but a “mental health crisis.”

While anti-gunners want to spend tens of millions of dollars over the next five years to allow the CDC to “study” the issue, CCRKBA called for Congress to spend the money more wisely, by using it to help make schools “hard targets.”

In a blistering news release, CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb called the “research” proposal to be a “boondoggle” which would only, and predictably, conclude with recommendations for stricter gun laws and a call for additional research.

“Why spend five more years on unproductive research which,” Gottlieb contended, “we all know, will ultimately recommend more research? It translates to job perpetuation for bureaucrats who do nothing while our schools remain vulnerable soft targets.”

Conservative politicians and commentators reminded the public that Congress, state legislatures and various government buildings are all protected by armed security. The same strategy should be restored to schools, where far left officials have ended school resource officer programs in many areas.

Meanwhile, something of a microcosm is found in Washington State, where KOMO News is reporting a dramatic increase in road rage shootings across the state. In 2018, the State Patrol logged 465 incidents of road rage gunfire, and last year there were 1,058 incidents.

The number of active Evergreen State concealed pistol licenses is hovering above 698,000, indicating a fairly intense public safety concern. The World Population Review has listed Washington in the “Top Ten” of states with the highest crime rates. Washington comes in at Number 8 and neighboring Oregon is at Number 10.  Both states have, in recent years, adopted what many consider are extremist gun control laws, some of which are currently being challenged in court. Obviously, say Washington gun rights activists, none of these gun control laws are working as promised.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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