A poll by the Associated Press found that while a majority of Americans still support stricter gun control, a result found in several previous polls, that support slipped slightly (down 3%) compared to the same poll last year. However, the 3% decline is within the poll’s margin of error meaning it may not be significant. In any case, the AP headlines the fact that just weeks after the worst shooting in modern American history, the numbers remain basically unchanged. The Associated Press story is titled “Vegas shooting doesn’t change opinions on guns.”
In this latest survey, 61 percent said the country’s gun laws should be tougher, while 27 percent would rather see them remain the same and 11 percent want them to be less strict. That’s similar to the results of an AP-GfK poll in July 2016.
Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats, but just a third of Republicans, want to see gun laws made stricter…
About half of Americans said they think making it more difficult to buy a gun would reduce the number of mass shootings in the country, and slightly under half said it would reduce the number of homicides.
About half felt it would reduce the number of accidental shootings, 4 in 10 that it would reduce the number of suicides and only about a third felt it would reduce gang violence.
The AP write-up of the July 2016 edition of this poll didn’t include the exact percentage that supported more gun control, describing it simply as “nearly two-thirds” of respondents. However, this RT story about the AP poll says support was at 64 percent. And this Chicago Tribune story about the poll says that was the highest percentage of support ever recorded on the question:
Nearly two-thirds of respondents expressed support for stricter laws, with majorities favoring nationwide bans on the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons such as the AR-15 and on the sale of high-capacity magazines holding 10 or more bullets.
The percentage of Americans who want such laws is the highest since the AP-GfK poll started asking the question in 2013, a survey taken about 10 months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 children and six educators.
Last year the AP stated the margin-of-error for the poll was 3.3% and this year it states the MOE is 4.0 percent. Either way, the decline in this year’s poll is within that margin, meaning the change may not be significant. Nevertheless, what does seem significant is that after the worst shooting in modern American history the number is, at best, steady. It suggests there is a ceiling on these numbers which we may have already reached.