BELLEVUE, WA – A Gallup poll showing the greatest decline of public confidence in law enforcement in ten years largely explains why a growing number of Americans are arming themselves for protection against criminals, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

Gallup’s annual Crime Poll was conducted in mid-October. Gallup randomly contacted 1,012 adults across the country. The results revealed that confidence in the ability of police to protect people from violent crime has slipped from 61 percent last year to 53 percent this year.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, where thousands of Americans were left to fend for themselves in an environment of looting and more serious crime, the poll results are understandable,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Americans witnessed on national television why it is so important for them to be able to take care of themselves, their families, and their property. They are buying firearms and learning how to use them.

“Unfortunately,” he stressed, “this poll tells only part of the story. It overlooks the hard work of dedicated men and women in law enforcement; people who will readily admit their ranks are stretched thin, and that they cannot be everywhere at once. An overwhelming majority of these devoted public servants support the right of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, and to have the guns necessary to make that possible.

“The whole country saw what happens when society breaks down completely,” Gottlieb explained. “New Orleans was a watershed moment, and because of it, Americans are learning anew that they are ultimately responsible for their own safety. American citizens everywhere have decided that they will not suffer the same fate.

“A cornerstone of that commitment is having a gun,” he concluded. “Citizens across the country are learning that myriad gun laws have not made them safer. They’re no longer falling for the promises of the gun control crowd that the police will protect them, so they shouldn’t own a gun. And you can bet they will fight for their right to keep that firearm.”