Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The NRA: Public Opinion of Gun Control and the NRA

All quotations and statistics are from the article “Targeting Success” by Kelly D. Patterson and Mathew M. Singer found in Interest Group Politics Seventh Edition edited by Allan J. Cigler and Burdett A. Loomis.

This will be broken up in a series of posts, hopefully, all of it will be up by the end of tonight.

Public Opinion of the NRA and gun control:

The National Opinion Research Center/General Social Survey (NORC/GSS) states that since 1972 more than 70 percent of citizens have said that they would favor a law that would require person to obtain a police permit before the purchase of a gun.  Sine 2000, they have found that support for this measure has been at over 80 percent.  “Similar, if not higher, levels of support have been expressed for waiting periods before the purchase of a gun and for laws that would register all guns that are purchased."  Since 1990, Gallup has asked if people believe laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict, made less strict, or kept as they are.  In the early 1990s, over 70 percent of Americans thought gun laws should be more strict.  By 2004, that percentage had declined to 54 percent. 

In a poll of Utah voters in 1998, 44 percent of NRA members said that there should be no restrictions on gun ownership; 11 percent of non-NRA members shared that opinion.  12 percent of NRA members believed that gun control laws reduce violent crime; 42 percent of non-NRA members believed that gun control laws reduce violent crime. 

How does the public feel about the NRA?  In 1989, 58 percent of people polled said that they had a very favorable or mostly favorable opinion of the NRA.  By 2000, only 51 percent evaluated the NRA favorably.  By the spring of 2006, that number had increased to 60 percent. 71 percent of gun owners evaluate the NRA favorably, but only 36 percent of those who do not own guns have favorable evaluations of the NRA.

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