Poll: Sandy Hook was different

A majority of Americans -- 54 percent -- want gun control laws tightened, up markedly from 39 percent last year

Topics: Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting, Newtown school shooting, Gun Violence, Gun Control, Congress, President Obama, ,

Poll: Sandy Hook was different State police swat vehicle enters school driveway (Credit: Via @AnthonyOnFOX)

The massacre of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary has dramatically swayed Americans’ views on guns, galvanizing the broadest support for stricter gun laws in nearly a decade, says a new poll by the New York Times and CBS News. The poll found that 54 percent of Americans support stricter gun control laws, up from only 39 percent last April.

The push to tighten up gun laws stretched across political lines — including a dramatic 18-point increase among Republicans. A majority of independents now also back stricter gun laws.

As reported by the Times:

The idea of requiring background checks on all gun purchases, which would eliminate a provision that allows about 40 percent of guns to be sold by unlicensed sellers without checks, was overwhelmingly popular. Nine in 10 Americans would favor such a law, the poll found — including 9 in 10 of the respondents who said that there was a gun in their household, and 85 percent whose households include National Rifle Association members.

A ban on high-capacity magazines, like the 15- and 30-round magazines that have been used in several recent mass shootings, was supported by more than 6 in 10, and by a majority of those who live in households with guns. And just over half of all respondents, 53 percent, said they would support a ban on some semiautomatic weapons.

After the mass shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Tucson in 2011, polls found that 47 percent of Americans favored stricter gun laws.

The poll also found wider support for specific gun proposals, like a ban on high-capacity magazines, among gun owners. “I see no reason for high-capacity magazines if you want to go hunting,” Sally Brady, a 69-year-old retired teacher who lives in Amissville, Va. and owns a hunting rifle, told the Times in a follow up interview. “The purpose of hunting is sport, and you don’t need a whole big bunch of bullets to shoot a deer or a squirrel. If you’re that poor of a shot, stay out of the woods.”

You Might Also Like

But even with growing support, gun control remains deeply contested among some.

Earlier this week, the National Rifle Association released new membership numbers to show they remain a powerful political force, even as the Obama Administration announced its plan on gun violence prevention, including 23 executive memos. As reported by Talking Points Memo:

The NRA told numerous outlets Tuesday that its membership has swelled by 250,000 in the month since the Dec. 14 elementary shooting in Newtown, Conn., which kicked off the current conversation on guns.

That brings the NRA to 4.25 million members, according to the organization.

According to the Times poll, the NRA is viewed favorably by nearly 4 in 10 Americans, but the group is deeply unpopular with people in households without guns. Of that group, 41 percent of them expressed a negative view of the gun lobby’s influence.

But as to who people trust to make decisions about gun laws in America, the poll found that 47 percent prefer the president over Republicans in Congress.

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>