In Gallup polling conducted prior to last week's gun massacre at an immigrant center in Binghamton, N.Y., only 29% of Americans said the possession of handguns by private citizens should be banned in the United States. While similar to the 30% recorded in 2007, the latest reading is the smallest percentage favoring a handgun ban since Gallup first polled on this nearly 50 years ago.Two factors are at work here...the public at large now acknowledges that draconian laws simply do not work and, in fact, can't work...and right now a substantial portion of the public at large is more afraid of its government than it is of a lone gunman.Public support for restricting the sale and possession of handguns to "police and other authorized persons" was relatively high in the early 1990s, with 41% to 43% in favor, but has since edged lower. At the same time, opposition to a ban has increased from 53% in 1991 to 69% in the most recent survey.
The latest figures come from the most recent installment of Gallup's annual Crime survey, conducted Oct. 3-5, 2008. It is unclear what impact, if any, the recent Binghamton incident may have on Americans' views of gun control.
Separately, the October Crime survey found just under half of Americans, 49%, wanting the laws covering the sale of firearms to be made stricter than they are now. This is the lowest percentage favoring stricter gun laws in Gallup trends since the question was first asked in 1990. While only 8% say gun laws should be made less strict, 41% say they should remain as they are now.
BTW, I agree with DRTV regular RASTUS commenting on my last post...the more the media gives deranged killers what they want even in death — fame, "significance," blah blah — the more likely we are to have more of the same. I agree with the comments on the changed (for the worse) nature of American society, but I think the overwhelming "drivers" here are the current social tension, which is still ratcheting up, and endless media attention catering to psychopaths.
I fear we have entered a time of blood...stay armed; stay aware!