According to a new Reason-Rupe poll released today, just 27% of Americans believe that an assault weapons ban would have helped prevent the tragedy at Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT. 67% of Americans believe that the ban, which expired in 2004, would not have prevented the tragic shooting. Overall, the poll finds Americans far more skeptical of gun control laws than the Democrats and media assume.
Asked what the government’s response to the Newtown shooting should be, just 16% said “stricter gun control.” 21% said the federal government shouldn’t do anything in response, while 20% said the federal government should act to increase security in schools. Despite the wall-to-wall media coverage and the President’s bully pulpit, the American public understands that preventing tragic shootings like Newtown is far more complicated than simply passing new gun laws.
On Obama’s signature issue, an assault weapons ban, just 44% of Americans think these weapons should be banned. A solid majority, 52%, believe politicians are exploiting the Newtown tragedy for their own political ends.
It should be noted that the Reason poll has a heavy Democrat tilt. 36% of respondents identify with the Democrat party, while only 22% identify as Republicans. Also, a majority of respondents, 54%, are not gun owners.
The Democrats have tried to paint supporters of gun rights as a “fringe” element of the public. The American public clearly does not agree with this assessment. The left, in its zeal for gun control, has run far further down-field than the American public on this issue. If they pursue this course, they will likely face severe headwinds going into 2014 elections.