Gun Control

Public Not Warming to Gun Control

Recent crimes haven't changed opinions on the hot-button issue


Gun control has been a nonissue in the presidential race—and in Congress for the past four years. The recent shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Oak Creek, Wis., are not going to change that.

After the Aurora incident, when a gunman invaded a crowded movie theater and started shooting, killing 12 people, the Pew Research Center found that the public's opinions on gun control had not moved an inch. Survey respondents were split evenly down the middle, with 46 percent saying it was more important to protect the right to own guns and 47 percent saying it was more important to control gun ownership. Those percentages have been stable, with just a few points movement in one direction or the other, since 2009.