Is support for gun control slipping?


Many people thought that after former Congressional representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona sustained a near fatal gunshot to the brain, there would be a national response to gun violence. There was some discussion about universal background checks and restrictions on certain types of weapons, but the talks quickly faded.

And probably more than any time in recent history, new legislation seemed probable after the Newtown slaughter of elementary school children. But the shooting deaths continue.

Slate has an interactive map on its site that collects data daily on the number of Americans who have been killed by a gun since the Newtown killings on December 14, 2012. The map puts the number at roughly 3,300 deaths, and it includes victims in Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse.

Support for new gun legislation remains somewhat strong according to a new MSNBC-Marist poll. Democrats and Independents strongly back gun control measures, but many Republicans do not.

Other recent polls show the public’s support for gun control may be slipping. And even though the majority of the public backs better gun control legislation, many members of Congress from both parties are not eager to move forward quickly on the issue.

The NRA has predictably recommended placing armed guards in all public schools. And President Obama is out trying to drum up support for gun control legislation. But it's beginning to look as if it's going to take more horrific events to make the American public angry enough to force Washington lawmakers to do something.