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Valley Public Radio Staff
Mon July 30, 2012
Poll: After Aurora Shooting, Opinions On Gun Control Are Unchanged
A new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that American views on gun control have pretty much remained unchanged since the Aurora, Colo. theater mass shooting.
"Currently, 47 percent say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 46 percent say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns," Pew reports. "That is virtually unchanged from a survey earlier this year in April, when 45 percent prioritized gun control and 49 percent gun rights."
This is very much in line with what has happened in the past. After the Tucson shootings, for example, the number of people who said controlling gun ownership was more important that gun rights was 46 percent. A few months before the shootings it was 50 percent.
Same with the Virginia Tech shootings: That number inched to 60 percent from 58 percent a few months before the shootings.
Perhaps the most insightful piece of this survey is that since the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, Americans are more likely to see these shootings as isolated incidents.
"The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted July 26-29, 2012 among 1,010 adults, shows that relatively few Americans view the shooting in Aurora as a sign of broader social problems. Two-thirds (67%) say that shootings like this one are just the isolated acts of troubled individuals. Only about a quarter (24%) say shootings like this reflect broader problems in American society. This is similar to the public reaction after the Tucson shooting in early 2011, which 58% thought of as the isolated act of a troubled individual and 31% connected to broader social problems. Americans were more likely to see broader problems behind the Virginia Tech shooting five years ago – at that time, 46% thought the event reflected broader societal problems."
The poll has a margin of error of 3.6 percent.