A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows that a solid majority of Americans are more concerned about enacting greater restrictions on gun ownership than they are about protecting the rights of gun owners, and some reforms enjoy overwhelming, bipartisan support.
According to the poll, fully 85 percent of Americans are in favor of enacting a universal background check system and closing the gun show loophole. That figure includes nearly an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, and supports previous polls that have suggested that even members of the National Rifle Association are in favor of expanding the background check system.
Every single gun safety measure polled by Pew enjoys the support of a majority of Americans, including bans on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons. A majority also opposes arming teachers and school officials, an idea advanced by several Republicans in the days following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT, but there is considerable support for placing trained, armed security personnel in more schools as well.
Gun advocates do outpoll their counterparts in one key area: political activism. Nearly a quarter of pro-gun advocates contribute financially to groups that are active on the issue of gun policy, compared to just five percent of people in favor of greater gun regulation.