Are Gun Owners ‘Wingnuts’? New Book and Poll Say So


(—A new book, “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America,” is used as the springboard for a Harris poll to call gun owners and others who disagree with Obama ‘Wingnuts.’

A Wingnut, according to John Avlon, the book’s author, is someone on the far-right wing or far-left wing of the political spectrum — the professional partisans and the unhinged activists, the hardcore haters and the paranoid conspiracy theorists. Gun owners are included in the far-right group, according to reviews of the book.

A Harris poll release said the company wanted to measure the “size” of the Wingnut population. The release began, “A new book, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America by John Avlon describes the large numbers of Americans who hold extreme views of President Obama. This Harris Poll seeks to measure how many people are involved. It finds that 40% of adults believe he is a socialist. More than 30% think he wants to take away Americans’ right to own guns and that he is a Muslim….”

In the Harris poll, the second-largest ‘Wingnut’ response group were people who thought Obama wants to “take away American’s right to own guns.” 38% said that. The only ‘Wingnut’ group with a larger response—40%—was that Obama is a ‘socialist.’

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,320 adults surveyed online between March 1 and 8, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

John P. Avlon is a columnist for the New York Sun and served as chief speechwriter and deputy communications director for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. He worked on Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign.

A link to the poll is here.


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