3 weeks ago
As I’ve discussed before, I have never believed in holding rights hostage to favorable statistics outcomes. See also Kurt Hofmann on this issue. However, for the weaker among us who don’t believe in much (i.e., politicians), and for those who reflexively stick their finger in the wind to see which way it’s blowing, public opinion seems to matter. And thus there is utility in information like this.
Less than half of Americans, 47%, say they favor stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, similar to views found last year. But this percentage is significantly below the 58% recorded in 2012 after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, spurred a nationwide debate about the possibility of more stringent gun control laws. Thirty-eight percent of Americans say these laws should be kept as they are now, and 14% say they should be made less strict.
The percentage favoring stricter gun sale laws in the two years since Newtown occurred has declined despite steady and tragic high-profile shootings in the U.S at schools, malls and businesses. This past week, shootings occurred at a Seattle-area school and of police officers in Sacramento and Placer County, California. Amidst events like these in 2014, and the resulting calls for stricter gun sale laws, the 47% who favor stricter laws is just above the historical low of 43% measured in 2011.
Ten years ago, three in five Americans (60%) said they favored stricter laws regulating the sale of firearms, but support fell to 44% in 2009 and remained at that level in polls conducted in the next two years. Days after the Newtown shooting, support for stricter gun sale laws swelled. Since 2012, however, Americans have retreated from those stronger attitudes about the need for more gun control, and the percentage of Americans who say the laws should be less strict — although still low — has edged up.
These findings come from a new Gallup Poll Social Series survey, conducted Oct. 12-15.
Universal background checks and waiting periods have never been associated with “reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates,” and readers know that I’ve never bought the idea that 90+ percent of the American public wants universal background checks. It’s was a myth before and it’s a myth now.
So I don’t want to hear another damn word about how 90% of the public wants increased gun control at the point of sale, or trying to plug the mythical “gun show loophole” or “internet loophole” which are fabricated phrases for person-to-person sales. Not another … damn … word.