Support For Gun Control Drops To 49 Percent, Will Media Cover?

**UPDATE** MSNBC’s Chris Jansing and Thomas Roberts did mention the new USA Today poll on their MSNBC shows at 10:10 a.m. and 11:18 a.m respectively. However, NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning did not mention the new poll.


For conservatives out there, this probably will come as no surprise; support for additional federal gun control legislation has fallen below 50 percent.  In a new USA Today poll released on April 23, only 49 percent of Americans support Congress passing a new gun-control law, with 45 percent opposing.

This new poll marks a six percentage point drop from an early April NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing 55 percent support for stricter gun laws.  That number was even lower than the 61 percent of Americans who favored stricter gun-control laws in February. Keep in mind as well that in early April in a Gallup poll, only 4 percent thought gun control was the "most important problem" on the country's plate.

In a breakdown of the USA Today poll, Politico's Kevin Robillard noted that, “supporters of tougher gun control don’t want legislators to compromise. Only 30 percent say they should accept a weaker law that can win approval, while 61 percent want them to continue pushing for tougher legislation even if it can’t pass Congress.”

In addition, Of those who opposed a new gun control law, 44 percent approved of the use of a filibuster to block the bill. Forty-one percent did not.

Many call the decline in support for gun-control as a “return to normalcy” and Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report sums up the decline in gun-control support as such:

The longer you get away from there, people start thinking of other issues. They start thinking about terrorism or jobs or immigration, and not surprisingly, then some of the momentum behind gun control starts to fade.

In addition, Rothenberg argued that the Boston Marathon bombings may have something to do with the decline, saying that:

It wouldn't be shocking if people sitting in their homes in Massachusetts cities and towns thought to themselves, "Boy, I wish I had something to protect myself with if a terrorist came through the door now."

Given the steady and consistent decline in gun-control support it will be interesting to see how the media which have been fervently pushing for expanded gun-control legislation, will report these findings, if at all.

Chances are they will not, particularly if President Obama and Senate Democrats have decided to indefinitely shelve the issue precisely because it lacks strong backing by the public.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer was a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.