An increasing number of people view the federal government as a threat to personal rights and freedoms, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. A recent survey found 53 percent of people think the government threatens their rights. Of the 1,502 polled, 43 percent disagree.
While between 1995 and 2003, the majority of people surveyed did not view government as a threat to their rights, a study conducted in 2010 showed a changing trend. In that survey, 47 percent said they did view government as a threat, compared to 50 percent who did not.
The shift took place primarily within the Republican party. In this survey, 76 percent of people who describe themselves as “conservative Republicans” think the federal government is a threat to their rights, which is up from 62 percent in 2010. Democrats polled, however, indicate “little change in opinions.”
In testimonies to state lawmakers during hearings over the past few days, people who own firearms have said they think gun control legislation would infringe upon their Second Amendment rights. That sentiment was reflected in this survey as well: 62 percent of people who have guns in their households think the government threatens their rights, whereas only 45 percent of non-gun owners shared that opinion.