Readers more open to gun purchase restrictions after latest shootings

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Back in 2012, in the wake of the massacre of elementary school students by a suicidal young man in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, just 9 percent of readers favored any new restriction on firearms purchasing and/or ownership. About an equal share of readers believed fewer restrictions were in order (45 percent) as supported maintaining the status quo with adequate enforcement (46 percent).

Gun Control Purchasing Restrictions Poll March 2018 2018 04 23 14 36

How things have changed since then, following a succession of mass killings that have included last year’s dramatic slayings in Las Vegas and the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 died and another 17 were injured. As that shooting started a wave of student-led demonstrations around the nation, more than a third of Overdrive readers signaled agreement that it was time for at least some change in gun-purchase restrictions.

A ban on bump-stock kits, which can convert single-fire rifles into machine-like guns, and a rise in the minimum purchase age for long guns to 21 were two options suggested by President Trump. Some states have moved in the wake of the Parkland massacre, yet the gas seems to have fallen out of the issue in Congress as the news cycle ping-pongs between shiny objects.

As the issue began to fade a bit in the national conversation this month, a high-profile ambush-style shooting at a Waffle House in Tennessee over the weekend notwithstanding, the largest share of readers agreed with another who noted, in comments under the poll, that “we don’t need more ‘gun control’ regulations or restrictions. Adequate enforcement of the existing rules and regulations – including incarceration of the ne’er-do-wells who steal guns or use them for illegal activities – would reduce the [death] tally by a lot.”

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