- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of Americans, including more than half
of the country's gun owners, want stricter gun control laws, a poll said
- The poll, conducted by Louis Harris and
Associates, found that 69 percent of all adults favor ``stricter gun control''
compared to 23 percent that want ``less strict gun control.'' Among gun
owners, 57 percent want tighter gun laws while 32 percent want an easing
of gun restrictions, the poll said.
- An even larger number of Americans, 76
percent, were in favor of creating more restrictions on hand gun ownership,
the poll said. Two-thirds of gun owners want stricter hand gun laws. The
poll also said the percentage of gun owners has dropped in the last 25
years. In 1973, 48 percent of of adults had guns in their homes compared
to 32 percent today, down from 40 percent two years ago.
- The data was compiled from telephone
interviews of 1,011 adults between April 22 and April 27, about one month
after a shooting at a Jonesboro, Arkansas, middle school that killed four
students and one teacher and wounded 10 others. Two boys, ages 11 and 13,
were charged in the attack. The poll numbers reflect an attitude about
gun control that has been prevalent in America for years, said Robin Terry,
spokeswoman for Handgun Control Inc.
- ``There has been a somewhat silent majority
for some time on this issue and there has been a very vocal minority,''
she said ''Because of recent events people have reached the point of outrage
that they are no longer willing to be silenced.'' Most people are unable
to judge if gun laws should be more or less strict because they are not
knowledgeable about the laws that are already on the books, said Tanya
Metaksa, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association.
- ``This poll measures the sorrow we all
feel in the wake of a tragedy,'' Metaksa said. ``There is nothing more
strict than a total ban and that is the current law in every school and
every schoolyard in the United States.''