Divided On Guns

June 27, 2008

A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is more in sync with the opinions of ordinary Americans on gun ownership than one might think. Nearly three out of five Americans said recently that they would oppose a law that banned the sale of handguns like the Washington, D.C., legislation struck down by the court yesterday.

59% OPPOSE A BAN ON HANDGUN SALES

But most Americans say that in general, it is more important to control gun ownership than to protect the rights of gun owners, a recent Pew Center for People and the Press survey shows.

58% SAY CONTROLS MORE IMPORTANT

In its decision yesterday, the court acknowledged that it must balance the need to protect public safety against the rights of gun owners. But on the question of where that balance should fall, Americans are divided.

Who favors more gun control?

Republicans 38%

Democrats 73%

Independents 56%

Men 51%

Women 64%

Whites 54%

Blacks 75%

Source: A telephone survey conducted April 23-27 among 1,502 Americans

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