BELLEVUE, WA – A new NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll released Wednesday shows an “alarming disregard by Democrats for the Second Amendment,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.

The poll, conducted May 15-18, revealed that “88 percent of Democrats think reining in gun violence is more important than protecting gun rights, while 67 percent of Republicans say protecting gun rights is more important,” according to a report in The Hill.

“This is a stunning revelation,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “While we have always advocated for safer communities and have supported citizen initiatives aimed at locking up criminals, it is appalling that such an overwhelming percentage of Democrats are so willing to throw the Second Amendment under a bus to achieve some false sense of security.”

More than 25 years ago, Gottlieb championed both “Three Strikes” and “Hard Time for Armed Crime” initiatives, which received massive public support in Washington State and then became popular nationwide.

“The idea of putting violent, repeat offenders in prison has always made more sense than penalizing law-abiding citizens who only want to exercise their constitutional rights,” he observed. “The notion that you are somehow going to discourage criminals by disarming their intended victims isn’t just foolish, it’s downright crazy.

“Constitutional rights are not something you vote on,” Gottlieb continued, “nor do you casually give them up in hopes of creating some Utopian fantasy. If criminals know people do not have the means to fight back, they will exploit the situation. That’s why we fight so hard, day after day, to protect the right that makes it possible for us to protect our families, homes and communities.”

Gottlieb said he is equally disappointed that many Independents and even some Republican poll respondents were also willing to prioritize controlling crime over protecting individual rights. 

“The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in our Bill of Rights and most state constitutions for a reason,” Gottlieb noted. “If we don’t protect all of our rights vigorously, pretty soon we will end up with none of them.”