From the New York Times:
January 11, 2011, 10:04 pm
Poll Finds Growing Support for Stronger Gun Control
By MEGAN THEE-BRENAN
In the wake of the shootings in Tucson on Saturday, the number of Americans who say gun control laws should be made stricter has increased since last spring, but nearly 6 in 10 Americans think stricter laws would have had little effect on preventing the violence which claimed the lives of six people and injured fourteen others, according to a CBS News poll.
Just 32 percent of Americans think the harsh tone of recent political campaigns had something to do with the violence in Arizona, while 57 percent said the political tone was not a factor. But politics isn’t wholly discounted by the public. A 45 percent plurality think the violence was motivated by Mr. Loughner’s own political views; 33 percent said it was not.
As Congress begins to discuss security concerns of its members, the public is divided over whether they should be given bodyguards for protection – 48 percent say they should and 45 percent say they should not.
There is similar division over whether Saturday’s violence was a random act not likely to be repeated in the near future (47 percent) or the first of similar attacks over the next year or so (45 percent).
Overall, 47 percent of Americans think gun control laws should be stricter (up from 40 percent last April), 36 percent say they should be kept as they are, and 12 percent would like to see less strict laws.
Thirty-eight percent of the poll’s respondents who said there was a firearm in their household were self-identified independents, 35 percent were Republicans and just 21 percent were Democrats. Gun owners were significantly more satisfied with the nation’s current gun control laws than were those who didn’t own a gun. Gun owners were also more likely than those without to say stricter gun laws would not have prevented the shootings.
The nationwide telephone survey of 673 adults was conducted on Sunday and Monday following the shooting rampage.