Blanket support for increased gun control measures and more government action on preventing gun violence has jumped in the wake of last week’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and seven others dead. A vast majority of respondents in a new CNN/ORC poll say they are now more likely to support stricter laws, and more people think government and society can “do something” to prevent mass shootings.
But the poll also shows relatively stable support for specific strict measures, such as a ban on semi-automatic weapons, a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips and a limit on how many guns an individual can own.
Some highlights from the poll:
- 46 per cent say that government and society can “do something” to prevent mass shootings like the one in Newtown. That’s up 13 points from the aftermath of the 2011 shooting in Tuscon, Ariz., that involved Rep. Gabby Giffords.
- 43 per cent said they’d be more likely to support stricter gun control laws. Just 7 per cent said they’d be less likely. Half didn’t give an opinion.
- By a 62-37 margin, people said they would support reinstating the assault weapons ban. The 62 per cent is up 5 points from an August poll taken in the aftermath of the shooting at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colo.
- By the same 62-37 margin, respondents would support a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips that hold more than 10 bullets. That has held steady since August.
- By a 92-8 margin, people favour preventing certain people like felons and “with mental health problems” from owning guns. That has also held steady.
- Respondents were against limiting the amount of guns an individual could own by a 48-52 split. Support rose 3 points since August.
The poll comes as lawmakers weigh what measures to take on gun laws. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced the formation of a task force to combat gun violence, to be led by Vice President Joe Biden.