Two questions I recently asked on a national survey touched on voter sentiment surrounding the issue of gun violence and whether or not America’s foreign policy is helping more or hurting the rest of the world. Looking at the questions, one can spot a connection between America’s declining influence on the world stage – often considered a result of excessive aggression – and its problem with gun violence at home.
A look at the data:
Overall, is America’s foreign policy helping or hurting the rest of the world?
- More voters (37%) say it’s hurting the world vs. 29% siding with the belief that the rest of the world benefits from our foreign policy. Still, one-third are on the fence (which speaks volumes).
- Almost as many Democratic voters (36%) are undecided as the 42% who believe America’s foreign policy helps the world.
- Republicans are more critical (53%, likely a vote against Biden) and 21% say it has more of a helping effect.
- Most Independents (41%) remain unsure and a substantial 36% side with the view that America is hurting the rest of the world in the way it flexes its leadership.
Following 20 years of occupying Afghanistan, within months America became engulfed in the Ukrainian conflict, with reverberations felt throughout the rest of the world.
Viewed in this light, overall, more Americans are feeling pessimistic about America’s role in the world. And America’s emphasis on military might and an aggressive foreign policy could be driving this sentiment.
On the domestic front, there is gun violence, which has recently become the second top issue among voters, replacing abortion. Currently, it is number one among Democrats.
Which of the following views comes closer to your own regarding gun violence?
A: Gun violence is first and foremost a gun problem and bold legislation can remedy it.
B: Gun violence is a mental health crisis and focusing on guns will not resolve the problem.
- Shy of a majority, 49% of US voters side with the notion that gun legislation cannot stop violent behavior.
- Still, 41% believe bold and swift legislation is necessary.
- Two-thirds of Democrats (67%) want bold legislation, 73% of Republicans resolve that legislation cannot reduce violent people from acting violently, and more Independents (50%) concur with Republicans vs. 35% siding with Democrats.
In the final analysis, foreign policy and gun violence are issues gaining momentum as we gear up for 2024. Will voters demand the repatriation of military aid (weaponry) to Ukraine in the form of economic development? Will they support bold legislation to address gun violence or opt for bold action surrounding mental health?
A couple of things come to mind. I agree, America’s overreliance on projecting power via the military is a problem and very detrimental to our image globally. Our leaders need to quickly reestablish a foreign policy based primarily in diplomacy and other soft power mechanisms…oh, and increased foreign aid and positive presence wouldn’t hurt either, look at the growing influence of China in Africa.
I am a strong advocate for gun control and frankly think that AR-15 style guns should be banned and confiscated, that said, I agree, gun control will not stop violent behavior. But gun control will make it harder for violence prone young white men to act out their fantasies by shooting up a crowd and gun control will make it harder for cowardly yahoos to shoot people who turn into the wrong driveway, try to retrieve a basketball, get in the wrong car by mistake, etc.
Joe Biden’s foreign and domestic policy decisions have been a disaster. We are weak and the US is being laughed at on the world stage.
With regard to more gun control legislation, that only hurts the law abiding citizen. Take New York State, for example. New laws under Kathy Hochul’s administration are making felons out of law abiding citizens with legal permits. Criminals don’t comply with laws and it is absurd to think that any new law would curb the violence carried out by criminals and the mentally ill. (of course you’ve heard this before)
This entire push is part of a larger, more devious agenda.