Editorials

Will Americans remain on the side of gun control?

If the initial poll taken by Reuters is any indication, President Barack Obama’s proposals to curb gun violence have the majority of American’s approval, with a few caveats.

Seventy-four percent of Americans favor an assault weapons ban. Seventy-four percent also favored a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips. The president’s proposal for background checks of all purchasers, private party sales and gun show buyers, met with 86 percent approval according to the poll.

Poll respondents were also asked about the National Rifle Association’s idea brought forward by the organization’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to put armed guards in all schools. While 28 percent opposed the proposal, 72 percent approved of it.

The caveats include the poll sample of only 559 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. Also, the bulk of the polling was conducted before the president outlined his plan on Wednesday. An Associated Press poll conducted this month showed 55 percent approved limits on gun violence in video games and movies and television.

The polls that will be conducted over the coming weeks will give more of an indication of what Americans are thinking, and that’s what members of Congress are waiting for. Public opinion and visions of re-election issues are, quite frankly, more powerful than NRA or White House pressure.

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