clock menu more-arrow no yes

Most Americans want gun owners, but not Muslims, to submit to a government registry

Over the past week, Donald Trump has received a lot of attention for voicing support (and then walking back that support) for forcing all Muslims in America to register in a government database. So, naturally, pollster YouGov decided to pose the question: Do most Americans think this is a good idea?

The answer, the survey found, is no. But most Americans would like gun owners to register with the government.

Most Americans support a government registry for gun owners, not Muslims. YouGov

It's comforting to see that most Americans do not support forcing religious groups, including Muslims, into a national registry — a requirement that would be wildly unconstitutional and morally repugnant.

But it's troubling that this is a question at all. And it's also concerning how many more Americans back a national registry for Muslims rather than for other religious people — a sign that Islamophobia is common in the US, and many Americans see the country's overwhelmingly peaceful Muslim population as some sort of threat.

Americans may, however, have a point with guns. Gun violence kills many, many more people than terrorism in the US: There are 92 gun deaths in the US each day — while terrorist attacks are extremely rare, killing fewer than 80 people in America each year from 2002 to 2011. Yet Trump and other politicians often support extraordinary measures to curb terrorism — including forcing an entire religious group to register with the government because a few extremists within that group act out — but rarely give gun violence serious attention on the campaign trail.

Watch: America's biggest gun problem is the one we don't talk about