Support for gun control falls to a record low
With two Supreme Court decisions in the last few years affirming the Founding Fathers view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to gun ownership, Gallup reports that Americans opposition to gun control laws are at a record low:
A record-low 26% of Americans favor a legal ban on the possession of handguns in the United States other than by police and other authorized people. When Gallup first asked Americans this question in 1959, 60% favored banning handguns. But since 1975, the majority of Americans have opposed such a measure, with opposition around 70% in recent years.
The results are based on Gallup’s annual Crime poll, conducted Oct. 6-9. This year’s poll finds support for a variety of gun-control measures at historical lows, including the ban on handguns, which is Gallup’s longest continuing gun-control trend.
For the first time, Gallup finds greater opposition to than support for a ban on semiautomatic guns or assault rifles, 53% to 43%. In the initial asking of this question in 1996, the numbers were nearly reversed, with 57% for and 42% against an assault rifle ban. Congress passed such a ban in 1994, but the law expired when Congress did not act to renew it in 2004. Around the time the law expired, Americans were about evenly divided in their views.
Additionally, support for the broader concept of making gun laws “more strict” is at its lowest by one percentage point (43%). Forty-four percent prefer that gun laws be kept as they are now, while 11% favor less strict laws.
Also, 54% of Americans believe that gun laws should be kept where they are currently or further loosened. And the number of Americans that believe gun laws should be made more strict is at a record low of 44%.
This issue isn’t as contentious as it once was. The Brady Campaign and other anti-gun groups seem to accept, though begrudgingly, that their cause to render Americans defenseless is lost.