New polling by Pew Research shows that most Americans support gun rights over gun control for the first time in two decades.
The poll found that fifty two percent of Americans believe that protecting the right of to own guns is more important than expanding gun control laws, while forty six percent supported increased gun control.
Support for gun rights has risen seven percent in the two years since the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The poll reports that there has been a “substantial shift in attitudes” since then.
The poll also found that most Americans believe that gun ownership promotes individual safety. Fifty seven percent of Americans say gun ownership “protects people from becoming victims of crime”, while thirty eight percent believe that it decreases personal safety.
Support for the right to own guns has risen most dramatically among women and minorities. Five percent more women and ten percent more black Americans support gun rights over gun control than they did five years ago.
Public approval of gun rights has been increasing for two decades. In the mid-90s, nearly sixty percent of Americans preferred gun control to gun rights.