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Americans' gun attitudes vary little after shooting.

There is a vast difference between what the average American considers important as it relates to gun ownership, and the beliefs of some legislators and anti-gun groups who are calling for more restrictions following the July shooting in Colorado.

Despite the call for more gun laws and restrictions, the attitudes of Americans concerning gun rights and gun control changed little following the July 20 shooting, according to the Pew Research Center.

In a national survey conducted July 26-29, Pew reports that 46 percent of the 1,011 adults questioned said it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns, while 47 percent said it is more important to control gun ownership. In April, a survey by the center showed 48 percent favored gun rights, while 45 percent favored gun control.

The results of the survey are similar to those following other major shootings. The Pew Research Center says relatively few Americans view the shooting in Colorado 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," Pew reports.

The research center notes that public opinion about gun control and gun rights has been divided since early 2009.

"Prior to that, going back to the first Pew Research Center polling on this issue in 1993, majorities consistently rated controlling gun ownership as a higher priority than protecting the rights of Americans to own guns," Pew reports.

Not surprising, Pew says the issue remains a highly partisan one.

"Republicans prioritize gun rights by a 71-percent to 26-percent margin, while Democrats prioritize gun control by a 72-percent to 21-percent margin. Independents are split, with 50 percent saying the priority should be protecting the rights of Americans to own guns, while 43 percent say it should be controlling gun ownership," Pew reports.

The issue also continues to divide along racial and gender lines.

"Whites tend to see the protection of gun rights as the higher priority (a 56% to 38% margin), while blacks overwhelmingly back gun control (a 73% to 23% margin). Men prioritize gun rights (57% to 38%), while women prioritize gun control (56% to 37%)," Pew reports.

To view the full report, visit www.pewresearch.org and search "gun rights."
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Title Annotation:Industry news
Comment:Americans' gun attitudes vary little after shooting.(Industry news)
Author:Thurman, Russ
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Sep 1, 2012
Words:390
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