Monday, December 15, 2014

Poll Finds That More Americans Back Gun Rights Than Stronger Controls

Two years after the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn., a majority of Americans say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than for the government to limit access to firearms, a Pew Research Center survey conducted this month found.
The center said that it was the first time in two decades of its surveys on attitudes about firearms that a majority of Americans had expressed more support for gun ownership rights than for gun control.
Practicing marksmanship at a shooting range in Bridgeton, 
Mo. African-Americans increasingly see guns as enhancing 
safety. Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images
Fifty-two percent of respondents said it was more important to protect gun ownership rights, and 46 percent said the priority should be controlled access to firearms.
In a 2000 Pew survey, 29 percent chose gun rights over gun control, and in a 2013 survey conducted a month after the Newtown shooting, 45 percent favored gun rights.
“To some extent, this is the continuation of a trend,” said Jocelyn Kiley, associate director for research at the Pew Research Center. “It may be that Newtown stunted that trend to some extent.”
On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown before killing himself in one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.
A young hunter hopes to kill his first turkey. 
The Grace family, Summerville, S.C.
The Pew poll on firearms, conducted in early December, also found that African-Americans have become increasingly likely to believe that firearm ownership does more to protect people than it does to threaten an individual’s safety, even as they continue to support gun control measures.
When asked in 2012, 29 percent of African-Americans said guns offered people protection rather than exposed them to greater danger, but in this year’s survey, the number of African-Americans who viewed firearms as offering more personal safety nearly doubled to 54 percent.
A woman discovers shooting, and herself. Donna Major, 
By contrast, the views of whites who believe guns are more likely to provide personal protection have changed more modestly — rising to 62 percent this year from 54 percent in 2012, the poll found.
Over all, 57 percent of Americans said gun ownership was more helpful in protecting people from becoming victims of crime, and 38 percent said it did more to endanger one’s safety.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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