Gallup: American attitudes on gun control unlikely to change much in the long term

    Listen
     A windshield shattered by a bullet is shown at the scene of a shooting on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Isla Vista, Calif. A drive-by shooter went on a rampage near a Santa Barbara university campus that left seven people dead, including the attacker, and others wounded, authorities said Saturday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    A windshield shattered by a bullet is shown at the scene of a shooting on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Isla Vista, Calif. A drive-by shooter went on a rampage near a Santa Barbara university campus that left seven people dead, including the attacker, and others wounded, authorities said Saturday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Last week’s mass killing near the UC Santa Barbara campus is spurring new efforts in the Senate to prevent those deemed mentally ill from owning guns. We gauge public attitutes on the matter with Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll.

     

    Hear the entire interview above.

    How likely is the horrific shooting going to make a difference in Americans’ gun control attitudes? Based on history, probably not much. 

    The number of Americans who favored stronger gun control rose after the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings, and settled back down again.

    Newport says that Americans started favoring stronger gun laws as recently as 15 years ago, but since president Obama was elected there has been a back lash among conservatives who feared an all-out ban on gun possession.

    New analysis shows a continuing trend for Americans to label themselves as less conservative on social issues, with only a 4-point gap between the percentage labeling themselves as conservative and those labeling themselves as liberal on social issues. This trend goes along with updated Gallup data on Americans’ views on the moral acceptability of issues such as sex out of wedlock and gay and lesbian relationships annually since 2001.

    News this week that annual pay among CEOs at large public companies reached a median $10.5 million in 2013 raises the question of Americans’ attitudes towards “big business,” which are none too positive according to a recent study. There is, however, one thing that Americans think big business does well — other than pay its CEOs well — and that is creating economic opportunities overseas.

    Would Americans like to see higher taxes on the rich? It turns out 52 percent do.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.