Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Poll: 62 Percent of Americans Want Senate to Drop Gun Control


President Barack Obama has vowed to keep pushing for new gun control measures and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the failed gun vote in the Senate was "just the beginning." However, the latest Reason-Rupe national poll finds just 33 percent of Americans feel the "Senate should debate and vote on gun control legislation again," while 62 percent want the Senate to "move on to other issues."

This data is surprising given earlier polls finding what appeared to be overwhelming support for expanding background check for firearm purchases. For instance, Gallup found that 83 percent of Americans favored a law requiring background checks for all gun purchases. The Washington Post/ABC poll found that 86 percent of Americans support a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online.

Understandably the media punditry expected public outrage when the Senate voted down gun control legislation. However, a Pew Research Center poll found that 39 percent of Americans were relieved/very happy the "Senate vot[ed] down new gun control legislation that included background checks on gun purchases" while 47 percent were disappointed/angry. But then again, Gallup found that 65 percent thought the Senate "should have passed the measure to expand background checks for gun purchases."

Subsequent to these polls Reason-Rupe asked Americans what they wanted the Senate to do next, finding that nearly two –thirds of Americans prefer the Senate to move on to other issues rather than continue to debate gun control.

Eighty-three percent of Republicans want the Senate to move on, as well as 66 percent of Independents; however, a majority (51 percent) of Democrats want the Senate to debate and vote again.

Women are far more likely than men to want the Senate to debate and vote again on gun control. While 72 percent of men want the Senate to move onto other issues, 54 percent of women agree, while 40 percent want the senate to vote on gun control again. This gender gap is not strongly correlated with marital status, age, or race, meaning that there is likely a true gender gap on this issue.

Support for the Senate voting on gun control again increases with educational attainment, particularly among those with post-graduate degrees. The Northeast is narrowly divided 46 to 52 while nearly three-fourths of Americans in the West want the Senate to move on to other issues.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted May 9-13 2013 interviewed 1003 adults on both mobile (503) and landline (500) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results found here. Full methodology can be found here. Demographics and detailed tables are available here.

Correction: An earlier version of the table in the article had the numbers for Independents and Democrats reversed.

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  1. Unpossable! 90% demand strong gun control. Stop posting these lies!

  2. So the Mother’s Day New Orleans shooting did nothing to restoke the fires?

    1. I didn’t hear of this. What happened?

      It not making enough of a news splash (so far) is probably why it hasn’t used.

      1. Some guys shot up a parade and hit about a dozen people. No one killed, last I heard. Arrests were made. You didn’t hear about it because it was brown-on-brown violence and probably gang/drug related. Nothing to see here. Move along.

        1. That and no one was killed. The ban boner crowd needs a nice big pile of fresh corpses, preferably children, to stand on top of.

      2. Yeah, why wasn’t this more widely publicized?

        Was the shooter African-American, and therefore impossible to link to the (“overwhelmingly white”) Tea Party, so the media didn’t care?

        1. Wasn’t this pretty close to the verdict in the Arias sideshow?

        2. Yeah, I hate to be the guy who says this, but the media isn’t all that worried about black people shooting black people in urban areas. It’s not “news” enough, I guess.

  3. I’m guessing a lot of Democrats want to drop the gun issue, not out of respect for the 2A, but because they’re concerned this will hurt their candidates for office.

    1. This.

      But it’s like a dog returning to its vomit.

      1. Return? My dog never leaves it.

  4. Support for the Senate voting on gun control again increases with educational attainment, particularly among those with post-graduate degrees.

    Does that “post-graduate” “educational attainment” include any knowledge of logic or the Constitution?

    1. I think it involves cloistering in genteel college campuses and being unaware that guns can be useful tools for peaceful people to own.

      1. Derp, er, uh, no. What that means is that really smart people want to ban guns. So if you want to ban guns then that makes you really smart since the really smart people want to ban guns. Yup. Same with climate change. If you agree with the really smart people then you’re really smart. Really smart people watch the Daily Show, so watching the Daily Show makes you really smart. Derpidy dooooo!

        1. ^This, some people actually seem to think that intelligence is a transitive property. Therefore, if you want to be a TOP MAN, just think the same things that TOP MEN think, and presto, you’re a super duper hyper-intelligent TOP MAN. It’s just that easy.

    2. Their logic is probably as good as anyone (which is overall not that good). The problem is the premises. ANd as we well know, the more “educated” people are on the constitution, the less they seem to be able to see what it actually says.

      1. the more “educated” people are on the constitution, the less they seem to be able to see what it actually says.

        No, you’ve got it backwards. Only the super smart constitutional law experts such as our current president are hyper intelligent enough to get all the implied penumbras and emanations that us common folk are simply too stupid to understand. /sarc

    3. As the husband of a post-grad who is fleeing academia, let me tell you that the primary character of PHDs, especially those who remain on-campus, is not a higher degree of educational attainment, but rather a longer period of exposure to the Progressive echo chamber that is your average university, especially within the faculty. To ascend to the highest levels you’ve got to toe the party line, so political debate tends to go no further than differing over how many years in the Gulag a gun owner ought to spend.

  5. But the liberals told me 90% of the country supported gun control!! This poll should surprise no one. If a majority of the country supported gun control, craven politicians of both parties would be signing up for it rather than running away from it.

    1. 90% of people in one survey answered one question about background checks at gun shows affirmatively. That’s all they had. I wonder how many people who trot out the 90% number know that?

      1. IIRC, the same survey found that 90% believed it was already the law.

  6. Good. The idiots keep wasting time on this, and cause their allies to suffer at the polls for it. Better than having them work on “fixing” other “problems”.

    1. Their thinking was they would use gun control to rile up the lefty base in 2014 like they used birth control for the same purpose in 2012. It was a stupid idea born of arrogance and being out of touch with the country.

    2. Yep count me in the 18% of libertarians who want them to keep wasting time on this.

      1. It is like playing with fire. What if the dumb bastards actually pass something? I prefer it to go away and never come back.

        1. Obviously that would be the best thing. But it will come back. Probably the best way for them to learn the lesson is for them to keep trying the really unpopular shit and get clobbered in 2014. But you are right, there is always the danger that they might get some less unpopular thing passed which will be hard to reverse. But I am reasonably confident that gun control is still a pretty dead issue at the federal level.

  7. TIL that about 18% percent of self-described libertarians don’t know what the word “libertarian” means.

    Or maybe they cleverly want Congress to waste its time debating something that will go nowhere, thus indicating that they are actually very good libertarians. Which is it?

    1. They’re actually not self-described libertarians; Reason-Rupe derive that based on answers to a combination of other questions in the survey.

      1. the best part is the 62% of liberals who want them to debate and vote again. Keep charging that hill. They might be out of bullets!!

        1. Theirs was not to reason why,
          Theirs was but to scream and cry.

            1. +10,000

  8. I think it is time for compromise. I will give the grabbers requiring background checks on FULLY automatic weapons in exchange for ending the ban on safety equipment like barrel shrouds and suppressors. Also women friendly items like collapsible stocks and SBR.

    1. No. In any compromise between good and evil, evil wins.

      1. But if you give evil something they already have, it’s not really bad. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any legal transfers of full autos without background checks and lots of paperwork.

        1. Exactly. It is a hustle. They get nothing and we get “safety” equipment and womyn get access.

      2. I’m pretty sure background checks (and about 1000 layers of red tape) are already required for FULLY automatic weapons. So what he’s proposing is a clever trick. Since most of them are too stupid to understand the difference between fully automatic and semi-automatic, they’ll think they’re getting something really awesome: “No more ‘machine guns’ without background checks! Yay!” when in reality they aren’t getting jack shit. They’re stupid enough it might just work.

        1. And I should refresh more often.

          1. It’s refreshing to hear you say that.

        2. Yup, I’ve been advocationg this as well.

          Add in background checks to convert any firearms to full auto configuration “to avoid that loophole” and scrap all existing laws from 1934 which didn’t stop any crime anyway.

    2. Good thinking, Floridian. I’ll trade an all-inclusive ban on grenades and anti-personnel mines in exchange for unlimited magazine sizes, although it’s gonna play hell with my rose bushes when that damn cat comes around again.

  9. Muhammanator makin’ copies at the copy machine.

    1. Wow wrong thread completely. Thats what I get commenting from my phone.

      1. Rob Schneider references are never appropriate.

      2. Ok, we need a new term for accidentally posting in the wrong thread…

        JB’d the thread? No, that’s not it…

        Help! Anyone… where is GBN when you need him? It’s going to be difficult to match ‘pansted the link’

        1. I’m surprised there isn’t already a term for that.

  10. a majority (51 percent) of Democrats want the Senate to debate and vote again still have ban boners and are pissed off that a pile of 26 dead chillunz weren’t enough to bring them release.

    That’s a little more accurate.

  11. I wish they’d have shown the stats on regular viewers of All In or Rachel Maddow. I’m fairly willing to bet that there’s a strong (dare I say 1:1) correlation between that viewership and “Independents” in favor of another vote, once you pull out the libertarians and conservatives.

  12. And how many Americans want the Senate to drop DEAD and move on to other things?

    Probably a substantial majority.

    1. Only if we don’t have to pay for disposal of the cracasses.

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