One Year After Newtown, Public Still Not Interested in Gun Control

by Charles C. W. Cooke

The anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook is approaching, and many on the Left are preparing to celebrate it with a new gun-control push. OFA, Moms Demand Action, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns have all signaled their intention to use the date as a rallying point on which to push for extended federal background checks. Some may go even further, ranging into an “assault weapons” ban or a restriction on “high-capacity” magazines.

Regardless of the merits of these ideas, and in my view there are next to noneadvocates will have their work cut out selling anything to the public – let alone to Congress. It is one thing to try to rush through new rules while emotions are still running high, and quite another to do so in the cold light of day. Support for new regulation was already pretty low when the shooting at Newtown happened, and it returned to a relative low pretty quickly. Per CNN:

The survey indicates that the intensity of opinion on the issue of gun control, once an advantage for gun-control advocates, no longer benefits either side. In January, 37% of all Americans strongly favored stricter gun laws, with 27% strongly opposed to them. Now that 10-point difference has completely disappeared, with the number who strongly oppose and strongly favor stricter gun control at essentially the same level.

And according to the poll, geography plays a role in the fading support for gun control.

“Demographically speaking, the drop in support for stricter gun laws is mostly based on where people live, with a 10-point decline in the Midwest and a 15-point drop in urban areas having a lot to do with the overall decline nationally,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

“Two-thirds of people who live in big cities supported stricter gun control laws in the weeks following Newtown; now that figure is down to a bare majority. And while support for new gun laws is down in all regions of the country, it has fallen further in the Midwest,” Holland added.

The poll indicates that majorities in the Northeast and the West still favor stricter gun control, but majorities in the South and Midwest now oppose it.

1993 this is not:

In December 1993, just days after the Brady Bill was signed into law, 70% of all Americans supported stricter gun control. By 1995, that number had dropped to 59%, and by early 1996 it had fallen to just 48%, the lowest level in CNN polling.

By the late 1990s, support for stricter gun control had rebounded to 62%, dropping again to 52% by 2003. A decade later, at the start of this year, it was still in the mid-50s before dropping to 49%.

The full report here.