Americans’ dissatisfaction with U.S. gun laws and has shot up to 55 percent, almost hitting the all-time high of 57 percent measured in 2001. On the other hand, 40 percent say they are satisfied, which is down from the historical average of 47 percent since Gallup began measuring gun law satisfaction in 2001.
But the increase in dissatisfaction is fueled by those who say gun laws are “too strict,” not those who want more gun control. Further, the gap between those who say the U.S. needs stricter gun laws and those wanting less strict laws only narrowed because of a steep increase in the percentage of Americans who want less strict laws.
Those who say the U.S. should loosen gun law restrictions increased by 11 points to 16 percent, up from only 5 percent a year ago. Perhaps some of this has to do with timing.
Gallup released their January 2013 poll that was conducted almost immediately after the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, which no doubt led to reactionary views driven by the president’s exploit children-as-a-backdrop campaign.
As far as issue satisfaction as a whole, Americans’ satisfaction with gun laws ranks near the middle of a list of 19 issues measured in Gallup’s 2014 update of its annual Mood of the Nation survey. The highest levels of satisfaction came from the nation’s military strength, despite it’s weaker condition in reality, and the nation’s ability to deal with terrorism, despite Benghazi and failed Middle East policy.
On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest levels of satisfaction were found with poverty and homelessness, along with the state of the nation’s economy.
The stark change marks a reversal in Americans’ views on gun laws this year. Typically, those who are dissatisfied have historically leaned heavily in favor of wanting stricter gun laws, not less strict laws. But this year is different, and may reflect an overall shift toward the right in Americans’ views on the issues per state.
Gallup recently released a party ID by state measurement, which found a continuing erosion in the once-heavy advantage enjoyed by the Democratic Party over the Republican Party.