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

4017 Folder Collection
Joyce Chiou published on August 20, 2019    Joyce Chiou translated    Evangeline reviewed
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