Pew Research Survey: Gun Regulations Support v. Gun Lobby Intensity

In mid-January, 2013, The Pew Research Center released new survey data on the “Gun Control Debate.” The complete results of the survey and the Pew analysis can be seen at: http://www.people-press.org/2013/01/14/in-gun-control-debate-several-options-draw-majority-support/

Following are their key Pew charts and tables with some summary comments. The data makes the point that while the majority of US citizens support more sensible gun regulation measures; this “majority view” is offset by the intensity and activism of the “gun rights” group.

The data reinforces the need of the “majority view” group to build grass-roots, broad-based, strong coalition of people that are informed, vocal and politically active. Over time, the “majority view” for sensible gun regulations will develop the momentum and activism of the “gun rights” group to influence US gun policy in a positive way.

This will be a long-term effort and is a foundational strategy of DeCAGV.

Survey Results Summary

policy_graph1Pew Research Center Survey for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 9-13 among 1,502 adults. Released:January 14, 2011

Highlights of the chart to the right:

  • 85% of respondents favored background checks for private gun shows.
  • 80% support laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns.
  • There are comparable survey results from republicans, democrats and independents for questions related to items 1 and 2.
  • Two thirds of those surveyed favor a federal data base to track gun sales.
  • 58% of respondents favor a ban on “semi-automatic” weapons; 55% on “assault” type weapons. This response indicates confusion over the definition of weapon type; assault, semi-automatic; automatic.
  • 57% oppose officials with guns in schools.

Gun Control Opinion, Historical Data Tracking:

  1. policy_graph2Pew historical data is shown below, from 2007. Pew has similar data trend back to 1993.
  2. Overall, not much change in respondents views about gun control and “gun rights” shortly after Newtown.
  3. In fact, there is little change in gun control views going back to 1993 surveys.

Data shows that today, more people want to protect American’s right to own guns than in 2007.

Activism Gap Favors Gun Advocates

  1. Those favoring “gun rights” are energized to gives money to likeminded groups and politicians.
  2. Similarly, “gun rights” people and groups are more politically active than gun control.
  3. policy_graph3Summary: Gun rights advocates are more intense and active on gun issues and policy than the gun control group. They are more politically active.

Conclusion: Intensity of gun rights advocates can offset favorable broad public support (“majority view”) or gun control advocates.