November 27, 2015

Most Americans want gun owners, but not Muslims, to submit to a government registry

Over the past week, Donald Trump has received a lot of attention for voicing support(and then walking back that support) for forcing all Muslims in America to register in a government database. So, naturally, pollster YouGov decided to pose the question: Do most Americans think this is a good idea?
The answer, the survey found, is no. But most Americans would like gun owners to register with the government.
Most Americans support a government registry for gun owners, not Muslims.YouGov
It's comforting to see that most Americans do not support forcing religious groups, including Muslims, into a national registry — a requirement that would be wildly unconstitutional and morally repugnant.
But it's troubling that this is a question at all. And it's also concerning how many more Americans back a national registry for Muslims rather than for other religious people — a sign that Islamophobia is common in the US, and many Americans see the country's overwhelmingly peaceful Muslim population as some sort of threat.
Americans may, however, have a point with guns. Gun violence kills many, many more people than terrorism in the US: There are 92 gun deaths in the US each day — while terrorist attacks are extremely rare, killing fewer than 80 people in America each yearfrom 2002 to 2011. Yet Trump and other politicians often support extraordinary measures to curb terrorism — including forcing an entire religious group to register with the government because a few extremists within that group act out — but rarely give gun violence serious attention on the campaign trail.

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