With passage of time, Americans less keen on gun control

Washington, March 19 (IANS) Three months after the “massacre of the innocents” at an elementary school in Connecticut, public support for major restrictions on guns may be fading, a new national poll suggests.

A majority of Americans favoured major restrictions on guns or an outright ban in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, when a heavily armed gunman killed 20 children and six adults. But that support has tumbled to just 43 percent, as more time has passed since that December tragedy, according to a new CNN/ORC International survey released Monday
“Support for stricter gun control has fallen dramatically among two groups – older Americans and people who live in rural areas,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
“In the immediate aftermath of the shootings in Connecticut, the number of rural Americans who supported major gun restrictions rose to 49 percent but now that support has dropped 22 points. Support for stricter gun laws dropped 16 points among Americans over 50 years old in that same time.”
Among younger Americans, the change is only three points. Overall, 17 percent of all Americans believe there should be no restrictions at all on owning guns.
Another 38 percent want only minor restrictions. That works out to 55 percent who support minor restrictions or no restrictions at all, a gain of nine points since December.
Thirty-one percent currently support major restrictions and an additional 12 percent want to see guns illegal for everyone except police and other authorised personnel.
The poll was conducted March 15-17 for CNN by ORC International, with 1,021 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.