NYT-CBS Poll: Attitudes Shift On “Assault Weapons”

Common sense gun laws

The shift is on in the United States of America.  Either that or the people are actually taking the time to learn more about firearms and the realities surrounding gun rights, mental illness, the second amendment and, well, the dangers of not being armed.

According to a new poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS, not necessarily in that order, when asked “Do you favor or oppose a nationwide assault weapons ban?” for the first time in the poll’s history, more Americans oppose such a ban than favor it.  50% oppose, 44% favor.  Going back 20 years, this is the first time opposition to such a ban has appeared, according to Patrick Egan via Twitchy (thank you Ed Morrissey at HotAir).


Most conservatives reasonably well read on firearms, or REALLY knowledgeable on the topic given the universe of conservatism, when encountering such terminology will usually say, THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS ASSAULT WEAPONS.  While this is true, for people not used to being around guns, any rifle that’s big, black and spits out a lot of bullets in rapid succession is suspect for being all about one thing and one thing only: killing people.

This may not be true, but that is the perception, and the new reality presented by the New York Times is that the American people aren’t so willing to see such guns banned in the U.S. population as they once were.  This is quite remarkable given that the individuals most likely polled for this questionnaire are probably disproportionately left-leaning.

What has shifted notably are attitudes on gun control. Only 44 percent of Americans favor a ban on assault weapons, 19 percentage points lower than after the mass shooting in Tucson in 2011. And while 51 percent favor stricter gun control in general, that is down from 58 percent in October.

The New York Times bills this shift in attitude as a “Fear of Terrorism,” but in reality it may well be fear of “common sense” gun laws that have taken such weapons, the best defense against an active shooter whether the person is nuts, on drugs OR a terrorist, out of the hands of the general population.

More on this and full fledged opposition to any firearms in the hands of the people from Ed Morrissey at HotAir.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.