U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with local law enforcement, elected officials and community leaders during a visit to the Denver Police Academy in Denver, Colorado April 3, 2013. (Photo : Reuters)
A new Marist College poll shows support for new gun control measures still high, even though political will has been dropping steadily.
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More than 100 days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. that left 20 children and 6 adults dead the new poll shows the public has not yet lost the desire to make firearms harder to obtain.
A full 60 percent of respondents said laws governing the sale of firearms should be more strict, while 33 percent said the laws should remain the same as they are now. Only 5 percent said laws should be less strict.
In addition, 59 percent of respondents favor a ban on assault weapons, a measure dropped from the Senate gun control bill after Majority Leader Harry Reid said he couldn't find the necessary votes to pass it, even among Democrats.
Only 37 percent of respondents opposed the assault weapons ban.
More Americans also said it was more important to reduce gun violence than to protect gun rights, 53 percent to 44 percent.
And, as shown in earlier polls, a huge majority of Americans support background checks before firearms purchases. While 87 percent of respondents are in favor of the background checks, that's actually down a few points from last month, when support hovered above 90 percent.
About 40 percent of the respondents to the poll are gun owners. While the survey called both landlines and cell phones, it skewed toward landlines. That may have been the reason the respondents also skewed older, as younger people often only have cell phones numbers.
That means the results of this particular poll might actually skew slightly conservative, and thus, away from tighter gun control measures. But without the backing of politicians willing to pass such measures, nothing will change, whatever the public actually thinks.