Americans Support Gun Control, Polls Say

Two major new polls confirm that a majority of Americans support significant new gun regulations -- even if their lawmakers do not.

The most recent poll is out this morning from the Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health. Salon has the write-up:

According to the survey, released today, a majority of Americans support a wide array of policies being discussed in Congress: 89 percent support closing the so-called gun show loophole by requiring background checks for all firearms sale; 69 percent support banning the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons; while 68 percent support banning the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Meanwhile, more than 80 percent favor prohibiting "high-risk individuals" from having guns, including those convicted of a serious crime as a juvenile or those convicted of violating a domestic-violence restraining order.

A Gallup poll from last week found much the same thing.

This isn't exactly breaking news to those in the trenches of the gun control debate. In his interview in this week's The New Republic, President Obama acknowledged that while the public may broadly back new gun regulations, rampant gerrymandering has created a proliferation of "safe" Republican districts, where the moderate majority has little or no sway.

Here are Obama's direct quotes:

"The House Republican majority is made up mostly of members who are in sharply gerrymandered districts that are very safely Republican and may not feel compelled to pay attention to broad-based public opinion, because what they're really concerned about is the opinions of their specific Republican constituencies.

There are going to be a whole bunch of initiatives where I can get more than fifty percent support of the country, but I can't get enough votes out of the House of Representatives to actually get something passed."