Poll: Support for Tougher Gun Control Laws on the Decline

Support for more gun control nationally has declined by 6 percent in 10 months -- from 55 percent in January to 49 percent in November -- with momentum for stricter firearms regulations cooling significantly in urban areas and the Midwest, according to a poll conducted by CNN/ORC International.

The poll, released on Dec. 4th, was conducted in mid-November as a barometer of public opinion before the anti-gun lobby launches its anticipated media offensive to mark the one-year anniversary of the Newtown shootings.

According to the poll, since January, the percentage of those who say they "strongly favor" stricter gun laws has declined from 37 percent to 31 percent, and the percentage who strongly oppose them has risen from 27 percent to 32 percent.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland told the Washington Times that the drop in gun control support varies by region. "Demographically speaking, the drop in support for stricter gun laws is mostly based on where people live, with a 10-point decline in the Midwest and a 15-point drop in urban areas having a lot to do with the overall decline nationally," he said.

The poll "has to shock liberal pundits and journalists who have been operating under the assumption since Newtown that only a crazed minority of gun nuts and NRA members were opposed to the president's gun agenda," writes Jonathan S. Tobin on Dec. 4 in Commentary Magazine. "But the answer to their question isn't much of a mystery. The majority of Americans understand not only that more legislation won't stop lunatics from shooting people with legal or illegal guns, but they also don't trust the government to enforce stricter laws fairly or to respect the constitutional rights of gun owners."

Tobin said anti-gun activists and liberals "counted on a wave of emotion in the wake of Newtown to help bulldoze both Congress and the public into adopting their long-cherished dream to restrict gun ownership and make it more difficult to legally purchase weapons" but no longer have emotion or momentum on their side.

In analyzing its survey, CNN writes that "the intensity of opinion on the issue of gun control, once an advantage for gun control advocates, no longer benefits either side." In January, CNN notes, 37 percent of all Americans strongly favored stricter gun laws, with 27% strongly opposed to them. "Now that 10-point difference has completely disappeared, with the number who strongly oppose and strongly favor stricter gun control at essentially the same level," the network said.

"Though the president and many in the media did their best to exploit the bloodshed, once it became apparent that the remedies proposed by the president had nothing to do with the crime, their momentum was stalled," Tobin writes. "No amount of rhetorical excess from President Obama or the pundits could cover up the fact that even if every item on his gun-control laundry list had been passed prior to the shooting, none of them would have prevented Adam Lanza from stealing weapons from his mother before killing her and then heading to the school where he committed senseless slaughter."