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Another Poll Shows Little Support For Increased Gun Control

Based on the new CBS/NY Times/Quinnipiac Poll, there appears to be very little support for stricter gun control in at least three of the 2012 battleground states:

Most voters in Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin are not clamoring for stricter state laws covering the sale of guns, with majorities in each state saying more restrictions would not prevent violent attacks like last month’s killings in Aurora, Colo.

Still, roughly 4 in 10 likely voters say gun laws in their individual states should be made more strict, new Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News polls find. But as many voters in Virginia say the laws should stay the way they are, as do about half of voters in Colorado and Wisconsin. (Most interviews in Wisconsin were conducted before Sunday’s shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.) The polls found that 6 percent in Wisconsin, 8 percent in Colorado and 9 percent in Virginia want their gun laws made less strict.

Many voters seem to lack confidence in the effectiveness of more stringent laws. About 6 in 10 voters in Virginia and Wisconsin and two-thirds in Colorado say stricter laws would not deter gunmen intent on mass shootings.

“I honestly believe that criminals can get guns no matter where or when or how,” Phyllis Everitt, 65, of Aurora, Colo., said in a follow-up interview. “I realize this man purchased them legally, but if he hadn’t and he was determined to do this, he probably would have gotten them illegally,” she said, referring to James Holmes, who has been charged with killing 12 people and wounding 58 in an Aurora movie theater last month.

Few voters in the polls are satisfied with how much time the presidential candidates have spent on gun laws. More than 4 in 10 in Virginia and Wisconsin say too little time has been spent on the issue, while nearly 3 in 10 say it has been the right amount; Colorado voters are more divided. About 2 in 10 in each state say they have spent too much time discussing the issue.

About half of voters in each state say they or someone in their household owns a gun.

The polls found majority support in each state for a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines, ranging from 52 percent in favor in Virginia, where 32 people were killed by a gunman in 2007 at Virginia Tech, to 57 percent in Wisconsin and 58 percent in Colorado.

“I’m not saying you should outlaw guns, but I don’t see the point of hundred-round magazine clips and automatic weapons if you just want to target shoot,” said John Tyson, 66, of Winchester, Va. “People say it’s their right to bear arms, but when the Constitution was written there was no such thing as an automatic weapon.”

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise. The three states surveyed all have long traditions of gun ownership, hunting, and the like. Nonetheless, I suspect that the numbers for a national poll wouldn’t be all that different.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Back in 2004 Congress elected to not extend the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, so it is not likely that we’re going to get any other minor legislation controlling the public’s ability to purchase all manner of weaponry.

    Many voters seem to lack confidence in the effectiveness of more stringent laws.

    I’m among those voters. America has a gun fetish – 310M people, 250M guns. We’re awash in guns. As a practical matter there’s not much we can do to prevent the occasional mass killings like those that occurred in Tuscon, Aurora, or Milwaukee. We can’t even implement minor changes to keep thought-to-be-sane people like Holmes or Page from acquiring automatic weapons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  2. walt moffett says:

    That would explain why the national candidates are exercising considerable discretion on the subject.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, given the loopy sources of that particular survey it’s obvious the actual numbers would be far less in favor of additional gun restrictions even than those reported figures indicate.

    It’s not surprising that there’s not any real support out there for additional gun control regs. It’s neither an accident nor a coincidence that nearly all the major gun control cities are de facto shooting galleries. People understand that dynamic. They have innate senses of cause and effect. They also know that gun restrictions put working class people out of work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    They also know that gun restrictions put working class people out of work.

    Lack of sensible gun restrictions also puts many people out of work permanently.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  5. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:

    So you are implying Chicago and NYC do not have sensible gun restrictions since their restrictions have little effect on the people being put out of work permanently.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    So you are implying Chicago and NYC do not have sensible gun restrictions since their restrictions have little effect on the people being put out of work permanently.

    I’m implying that America has a gun fetish – 310M people, 250M guns, and we didn’t care to extend a a federal ban on assault weapons. That’s what Im saying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  7. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: And yet, there seems to be an inverse relationship between gun control and crime. The tighter the laws, the more gun crimes. The looser the laws, the less crime. How very odd.

    Maybe that’s the point of gun control advocates — they want to make us all equal. If gun control laws are jacked up all over the country, then the rest of us can feel as safe and secure from gun violence as the people in Chicago, LA, New York, New Orleans, DC, and all those other wonderful places where guns are properly controlled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  8. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: True assault weapons are already banned except for special circumstances (federal licensed or pre-ban +$20000 weapons that are almost never used in crimes). What you’re wanting banned are scary looking guns that are really nothing more then riced up conventional rifles. The assault weapons ban didn’t ban a single assault weapon but it did ban some pump action shotguns bayonet lugs and other dumb things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    @al-Ameda: True assault weapons are already banned except for special circumstances (federal licensed or pre-ban +$20000 weapons that are almost never used in crimes). What you’re wanting banned are scary looking guns that are really nothing more then riced up conventional rifles. The assault weapons ban didn’t ban a single assault weapon but it did ban some pump action shotguns bayonet lugs and other dumb things.

    It really doesn’t matter much. This country is awash in guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  10. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    and all those other wonderful places where guns are properly controlled.

    Or for that matter, gun control paradises like like Tuscon, Aurora, Milwaukee, Littleton Colorado.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2