Americans Divided Over Gun Control?

According to this Canadian news article:

People in the United States are almost evenly split between those who want tighter firearm legislation and those who believe this is unnecessary, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 42 per cent of respondents believe their country needs stricter gun control laws, while 44 per cent disagree.

Considering that most people have no idea what the current gun laws are, this is pretty striking.  It’s not a majority, but it’s a plurality.  Most importantly, it also says the recent shooting have had little effect on people’s perceptions on gun laws.

2 thoughts on “Americans Divided Over Gun Control?”

  1. Actually, if you follow the link in the article to a second article, there is more of a breakdown and in fact, there has been a slight swaying of opinion theoretically based on the shootings.

    “Last April, following the Virginia Tech shooting 45% of adults said there should be stricter laws and 37% disagreed.”

    I’m curious as to where the phone calls were made. That might influence things as well. There’s also a breakdown based on whether or not they have a gun in their home as to their feelings on the subject.


  2. As you mentioned, this is invalid unless we have some idea of whether the poll respondents had any idea what the gun control laws are currently.

    The Brady Campaign just recently opined that there IS no gun control in this country and I repeatedly see comments to news stories and blog posts where the commenters say things like “no one needs machine guns to hunt” and such.

    I’d like to see a followup question for people who say that “stricter gun control” is needed asking them what specifically needs to be changed.

    I’d be willing to bet that a significant portion of them think that teenagers can buy automatic weapons and that no purchases at gun shows require background checks.

    Opinion based upon ignorance is the classic “blind leading the blind” scenario.

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