More than half of Americans surveyed in a new poll said that they want to make changes of some kind to the U.S. Constitution, with the Second Amendment bearing the largest bull’s-eye.
The majority of those wanting to make changes are on the left side of the aisle, with 62 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Republicans calling for tweaks. Half of Libertarians called for changes, and 51 percent of independents.
The survey, conducted by SafeHome.org, polled 1,007 Americans with an average age of 37 and a breakdown of 48 percent female and 52 percent male. “We asked each respondent if they understood what was protected by each of the first 10 amendments. We then asked each to explain three specific amendments and used those answers to spot-check their assertions of understanding the aforementioned amendments,” the company said. “Next, we asked five additional questions about the Constitution in general. The percentage of the total 15 questions answered correctly yielded each respondent’s ‘Constitutional Knowledge’ score.”
Republicans answered 56 percent of the constitutional questions correctly and Democrats scored 55 percent. The youngest voters, Generation Z, got 63 percent of the questions correct compared to 56 percent of Baby Boomers.
Baby Boomers, meanwhile, were the generation most calling for constitutional changes, at 60 percent. The survey found that satisfaction with the Constitution increased with knowledge of the document.
On racial breakdown, whites were most likely to want changes at 54 percent, and on educational breakdown, 45 percent of respondents whose highest level of education was high school wanted changes while 89 percent of those with doctorate degree said the same.
Eighty-five percent of respondents identifying as LGBT wanted constitutional changes, compared to 51 percent identifying as straight.
Overwhelmingly, all respondents pegged the Second Amendment as most in need of change, with 52 percent saying tweaks are needed as opposed to mostly single-digit dissatisfaction for the other nine amendments in the Bill of Rights. One in 10 respondents wanted changes to states’ rights in the Tenth Amendment.
As far as the First Amendment, 8 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Dems said they wanted to change it to “ban fake news,” and 10 percent of Democrats and 5 percent of Republicans wanted changes to “ban hate speech.”
On the Second Amendment, 66 percent of Republicans and 11 percent of Democrats wouldn’t change anything, 25 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Dems would “require more thorough background checks and psychological screenings,” 14 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of Democrats would “limit the type and quantity of guns allowed,” 5 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats would “include restrictions on carrying weapons in public,” and 12 percent of Democrats — no Republicans — would completely repeal the Second Amendment.
Among individual opinions on overall constitutional changes, one 40-year-old male Democrat said a right to privacy should be enshrined, a 36-year-old female Republican wanted more rights for whites, a 28-year-old male Republican wanted birthright citizenship removed, a 52-year-old female Republican declared that no one should be able to “bad-mouth the president,” a 23-year-old female Democrat wanted prison sentencing reform in the Constitution, and a 21-year-old male Republican said guns should be banned as “America should be a country without weapons.”
“One 33-year-old independent from Colorado advocated a racist hierarchy that would prohibit minorities from citizenship,” researchers noted.