We don't know why, but as to how we're going to prevent future massacres, Americans are ready for major gun reform
Before we get to the results, one word on the sample composition of this Public Policy Polling poll for Daily Kos -- 54 percent of respondents say they own a gun, while the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey reported households owning firearm fell from 54% in 1977 to 32% percent in 2010.
In other words, this poll oversamples gun owners. It's skewed toward those who own guns. So remember that little tidbit as you digest just how awful these numbers are for the NRA and its allies.
Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos. 12/18-19. 1,000 Registered voters. MoE 3.1% (No trendlines)
92 percent of conservatives and 94 percent of Republicans agree. So do 93 percent of southerners. There is no partisan or geographic split on the question. 90 percent of gun owners agree.
More below the fold.
Conservatives support this 59-31 (compared to 71-21 among liberals), Republicans support it 57-35, Southerners are more like to support this than Midwesterners or Westerners, gun owners agree 55-36, and hunters agree 52-38.
Conservatives support such a ban 50-43, compared to liberals 74-24. Republicans support it 50-44. There isn't big geographic differences, as Southerners support a ban 60-35 and Northeasterners support one 68-30. Gun owners support a ban 51-44, but hunters oppose it narrowly, 47-48.
Conservatives support such a ban 61-34, Southerners (at 69-25) support such a ban more than Midwesterners and Westerners, though there is little difference, gun owners support it 59-36, and hunters support it 57-38.
Conservatives support closing this loophole 71-23, Southerners support it 73-22, and Hunters support it 64-30.
Everyone agrees this is a no-brainer. Well, except the NRA.
Conservatives support such a ban 51-42, Southerners support it 60-33, gun owners support it 53-42, and hunters support it 50-46.
There is little partisan difference. Conservatives think hunting with assault rifles is unnecessary by a 70-22 margin, for example. But what's crazy is we cross-referenced this question with the 73 percent of respondents who had a favorable opinion of hunting, and among that crowd, 21 think assault weapons are necessary to hunt, while 73 percent don't.
In other words, the vast majority of people who like hunting think hunting with assault rifles is
idiotic stupid ridiculous unnecessary.
There are places where partisan differences did arise. For example, 36 percent of conservatives said they were more interested in buying a gun after the Sandy Hook massacre, while 23 percent were less interested. Among liberals, it was 10 percent more, 40 percent less, and among moderates it was 16 percent more, 32 percent less.
And asked whether gun violence can be solved with more guns, or more restrictions, 46 percent of conservatives wanted more guns compared to 35 percent who wanted more restrictions. It was 22-56 among liberals, 23-56 among moderates.
That's quite the contradiction, isn't it? While conservatives backed all those common-sensical gun restrictions, they still thought more guns were the answer to gun violence. Don't ask me to decipher that little bit of cognitive dissonance.
Finally, 51 percent of conservatives think guns are a "necessary check on government tyranny", while 25 percent aren't paranoid. Among liberals, the numbers are reversed, 26-51. The teabaggers are particularly enamored with that fantasy, with 65 percent thinking that a bunch of pretend militia members with rifles can provide a check on a government that can employ drones and Seal Team Six to take them out. Only 17 percent are too smart to believe that.
But whatever the motivations, or pretensions, or cognitive dissonance, fact is that even conservatives support strongly the common-sense restrictions of requiring background checks and mental health examinations before buying guns, support the banning of assault rifles, support banning the sale of guns and bullets over the internet, support closing the gun-show loophole, support prohibiting violent felons from owning guns, and support banning high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
So it's not Americans standing in the way of such regulations. It's the NRA and its allies in Congress, on behalf of a distinct outlier minority of crazies.