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  • We want change! We want change!

  • I don't understand why I could still go in a store and buy a weapon of war.

  • There's no better time than now to talk about gun control.

  • These are calls the American public has heard before.

  • After Orlando

  • Democrats and Republicans we spoke with agree suspected terrorists, like the Orlando shooter, should not be allowed to purchase firearms.

  • After Sandy Hook

  • 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks.

  • After each mass shooting, there's a surge of public support for stricter gun control.

  • A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows record high support for stricter gun laws.

  • So why hasn't Washington put stricter gun laws on the books?

  • There are several factors, ranging from partisan divides to gun owner activism to the N.R.A.'s political clout.

  • No. 1: There's broad support, but also big divisions on gun control.

  • The most comprehensive data is from 2017.

  • And it shows that 60 percent of Americans say they want stricter gun laws.

  • Support is even higher for things like a 30-day waiting period for gun sales and universal background checks.

  • But dig deeper, and you find the devil is in the details and the divides.

  • Most Democratic voters want stricter gun laws.

  • But less than 1 in 4 Republicans agree.

  • Most Americans who don't own firearms say easy access to legal guns fuels gun violence.

  • Fewer than half of gun owners agree.

  • Non-owners want to ban assault-style weapons, while most gun owners don't.

  • The person is the criminal, not the weapon.

  • Gun owners may be a minority, but they're a very focused and vocal minority.

  • Only about 3 in 10 Americans own a gun.

  • But to them, gun control is not merely a policy issue.

  • It's personal.

  • Nearly 40 percent say they always have a loaded firearm at the ready in their home.

  • 74 percent say the right to own a gun is "essential" to their freedom.

  • Gun owners are much more likely to contact lawmakers about gun policy, compared to non-owners.

  • And far more likely to donate to gun advocacy and policy groups.

  • No. 3: The N.R.A. is a formidable force in politics.

  • Less than 20 percent of gun owners in America say they belong to the N.R.A..

  • But it's big enough, and disciplined enough, to turn elections and to end political careers.

  • Part of what makes the N.R.A. so formidable is the money it spends helping friendly politicians.

  • And attacking those deemed enemies.

  • Ross voted against your gun rights.

  • The N.R.A.'s vast marketing efforts have helped turn gun ownership into a badge of cultural identity.

  • It is not about politics. It is a way of life.

  • I feel like we should be able to express that.

  • And their catchphrases have become ubiquitous.

  • The guns don't kill people; people kill people.

  • No. 4: The N.R.A.'s leaders are more hard-line than its members.

  • Polls show the N.R.A. members do support some gun control policies, like outlawing sales to the mentally ill, and people on terror watch lists.

  • Most also favor universal background checks.

  • But time and time again, N.R.A. leaders in Washington work to kill these proposals.

  • After Sandy Hook, N.R.A. leaders flipped the script on mass shootings.

  • Instead of combating calls for new gun control, they actually demanded more gun rights.

  • The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

  • And finally, no. 5: Are Americans really clamoring for more gun control?

  • Maybe not.

  • We see spikes and public support for stricter laws in the wake of mass shootings like Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas.

  • But in a matter of weeks, the bumps fade.

  • In fact, overall Americans have actually grown less supportive of gun control over the past 25 years.

  • The shootings, meanwhile, continue.

We want change! We want change!

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B1 US TheNewYorkTimes gun gun control stricter support percent

Most Americans Want More Gun Control. Why Doesn't It Happen? | NYT

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    Joyce Chiou posted on 2019/08/19
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