Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | Polls | gun rights | Americans | support | rising fear

More Than Half of Americans Support Gun Rights Over Gun Control

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 06:07 PM

Public opinion has gone through a dramatic shift, with a majority of Americans now saying the protection of gun rights is more important than gun control, a new poll shows.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 52 percent of Americans support the protection of gun rights compared with 46 percent who say gun control is more important.

Americans' support for gun control reached 66 percent in the late 1990s, Pew notes.

The change in opinion is due both to politics — with Republicans becoming "far more supportive of gun rights during the Obama years" — and changing perceptions of crime, the pollster finds.

"[W]e are at a moment when most Americans believe crime rates are rising and when most believe gun ownership — not gun control — makes people safer," the pollster concludes.

The findings correspond with support for the National Rifle Association, which had its second biggest national convention earlier this month and whose membership has reached 5 million, according to the Washington Examiner.

The pollster reasons that in the 1990s, "the rate of violent crimes plummeted by more than half nationwide."

"Public perceptions tracked right along, with the share saying there was more crime in the [United States] over the past year, falling from 87 percent in 1993 to just 41 percent by 2001," Pew reports.

"In the new century, however, there's been a disconnect. A majority of Americans (63 percent) said in a Gallup survey last year that crime was on the rise, despite crime statistics holding near 20-year lows."

Those who say crime is rising are also the most opposed to gun control, Pew reports.

"Just 45 percent want to see gun laws made more strict, compared with 53 percent of those who see crime rates as unchanged or dropping."

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Public opinion has gone through a dramatic shift, with a majority of Americans now saying the protection of gun rights is more important than gun control, a new poll shows.
gun rights, Americans, support, rising fear, crime, control, Pew poll
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2015-07-20
Monday, 20 Apr 2015 06:07 PM
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