October 25, 2002
THE GUN ISSUE looks like a loser for Democrats even in Maryland according to this poll:
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend recently called for expanding Maryland's ballistic fingerprinting law to include rifles, while Bob Ehrlich has remarked that a few of Maryland existing gun laws should be reexamined to judge their effectiveness. Maryland voters have their own opinions: Fifty-three percent agreed that "[w]e already have enough gun control laws – we need to better enforce the laws already on the books." Thirty-six percent statewide felt that "[w]e need more and stronger gun control laws." Eight percent took the opposite view, that "[w]e have too many gun control laws now." The remaining 3% gave no answer.
Better enforcement of existing laws is the favored position in every demographic subgroup in the survey, except among Democrats and residents of the Washington suburbs. Fifty percent of Democrats, and 54% of voters in the DC suburbs, say we need more and stronger gun control laws. Among undecided voters, just 31% opt for more and stronger laws, with 61% saying that we need better enforcement of existing gun control statutes.
That "better enforcement of existing gun control statutes" answer is a problem, of course, given the recently publicized failures that Maryland has had in that department.