Americans Call for Stricter Gun Laws Only after Mass Shootings

After every mass shooting in the U.S., there are calls for stricter gun laws, but they fade away over time, the Congress doesn’t change anything and nothing changes. The Democrats got angry on Monday after the shooting in Las Vegas, where 58 people lost their lives.

“It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something,” said Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, who is advocating gun control since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012.

In the previous cases of mass shootings, the public supported gun control, but a few months later the matter is forgotten. Pew Research Center made two surveys on gun control this spring, when there was no mass shooting and found that 83 percent of the respondents think that gun violence is a big problem in the U.S., including 50 percent, who said it is a big problem.

But 47 percent of the Americans think that the right to own a gun is essential to their sense of freedom. On the other hand, the poll found that 47 percent of the Americans think that there would be fewer mass shootings if it were harder to legally obtain a gun, 39% think that that wouldn’t make any difference and 13% think that would lead to more shootings. In the meantime, 68% of the respondents favor a ban on assault-style weapons, and 64% favor banning high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

But, there is a partisan divide over guns. First of all, 44 percent of the Republicans and the Republican-leaning independents own guns, compared to just 20% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Astonishing 91% of Republican gun owners say owning a firearm is essential to their freedom, compared to 43% of gun owners who support the Democratic Party. The Democrats say they never carry their guns, but 63% of Republican gun owners say they carry theirs at least some of the time.

According to the survey, Democrats are more likely to describe gun violence as a very big problem. Republicans don’t want creation of a federal database to track gun sales, banning assault style weapons and high capacity magazines, but a significant number of the Democrats support that. 82 percent of the Republicans favor allowing concealed carry in more places, while only 41% of the Democrats are pro that. Majority of the Republicans (81%) think that teachers and school officials should carry guns, while the support for this matter among the Republicans is 42%.

The National Rifle Association, the leading lobbying group against all forms of stricter gun laws, is a bogeyman for the Democrats in the debate over gun control. The public is divided on the NRA, and 44% of the respondents think that the Association has too much influence over gun laws, 15% think that it has too little influence and 40% think that its influence has the right amount.

Quinnipiac University made a poll this June, after the shooting at a congressional baseball team’s practice, and found that 57% of registered voters felt it was too easy to buy a gun in the U.S. today, 6% said it was too difficult and 32% say it’s about right. 57% felt the country would be less safe if more people carried guns and 35% thought the country would be safer.

According to the Pew’s poll from this spring, 52% of the respondents think that gun laws in the country should be stricter than they are today, while 18% said gun laws should be less strict and 30% said they are about right.

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