Public support for the Obama gun control agenda has plummeted since the exploitation of the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut, a survey from Gallup found. While the public remains divided, public support for stricter gun control laws is down from 58 percent in the days following the Newtown shootings back in December of 2012, and is lower than it was from 2000 through 2006.
The new survey also found public opposition to banning handgun ownership is holding at a record-high 74 percent, which is identical to 1 year ago, with just 1 in 4 Americans thinking the law should limit possession to police and other persons with government authority.
A noteworthy point, recent public opinion on gun control laws is vastly different from the 1980s, when just barely half of all Americans opposed a ban on civilian handgun ownership. Today, proponents of the Obama gun control agenda have suffered serious defeat, with pushback over new Colorado gun laws resulting in a historic ousting of Democratic lawmakers, and currently Gov. Hickenlooper is in deep trouble in his reelection bid.
Public sentiment also represents a massive turnaround from a half century ago, when just 36 percent opposed a ban. Americans’ opposition to handgun bans began climbing in the 1990s and 2000s, but first passed the 70 percent threshold under Barack Obama in 2009.
Even though Barack Obama renewed his push for congressional action to pass stricter federal gun laws after the Washington Navy Yard massacre in September, there is next to zero chance — if not zero — that Republicans and some Democrats in either house of Congress will feel the inclination to support any element to the Obama gun control agenda. Simply put, public outrage leading to support for stricter laws has waned, considerably.
But what may be behind the decline? The answer is quite simple. The American people do not trust the Obama gun control agenda, and do not believe that the Obama gun control agenda will even be effective in decreasing gun violence. However, they do think help for the mentally ill will do much more than gun control to reduce the number of shootings, which is more in line with Republican and conservative proposals.
Following the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, a Rasmussen survey found 76 percent of Americans strongly believe it is not possible to entirely prevent mass shootings with gun control laws.
Distrust in the government is not solely stemming from gun rights advocates, as many liberals will no doubt claim, but rather is fairy widespread. A strong majority of Americans who oppose stricter gun control laws — 88 percent — don’t trust the government to justly enforce those laws, and 37 percent of those who would like to see tougher gun control laws, actually agree.
In total, most Americans — 63 percent – said that they did not trust the government to fairly enforce gun control laws, and just 34 percent rated the president’s handling of issues related to gun control as “good” or “excellent,” which is Obama’s lowest level of trust on the issue ever measured.
So, what would the American people support if not the Obama gun control agenda?
There is broad bipartisan support for reforming mental health laws, despite how vigorous the ACLU may defend them. In late December, Democrats were far more likely to agree with the president and look to gun control over mental health treatment to prevent mass shootings. However, that has now reversed, with Democrats prioritizing increased mental health treatment over gun control along with Republicans and those not affiliated with any party. Republicans and unaffiliated Americans now believe more strongly than ever that more mental health treatment is the way to limit mass shooting incidents.
The vast majority of the American people — 74 percent — feel strongly that more enforcement of existing gun laws is needed, rather than more laws the federal government will not justly enforce. The Rasmussen survey is almost identical to Gallup, with 46 percent open to stricter gun control laws, while 47 percent disagree.
Following the Connecticut school shootings in December, more than half of American women supported stricter gun control laws. Following the DC shootings, female support for the Obama gun control agenda has decreased 15 percent, while opposition has increased by 7 percent.
At least for now, or until Barack Obama parades out and exploits more helpless victims, the Obama gun control agenda, is dead. That means we can hold on to our freedom, for now.