(WASHINGTON) — A new Pew Research Center poll conducted following the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., finds that more Americans believe that gun control should take precedence over the rights of gun owners.
In the wake of the tragedy that cost the lives of 20 children and six adults, 49 percent of the respondents in the Pew survey say it is more important to put restrictions on Second Amendment rights compared to 42 percent who maintain that the rights of gun owners should come first.
The remainder was undecided.
While this would appear to give impetus to President Obama’s attempts to reinstall an assault rifle ban and other measures opposed by the National Rifle Association, the number of Americans favoring restrictions on gun owners is actually lower than it was nearly five years ago.
In April 2008, when Republican George W. Bush was president, 58 percent of Pew respondents who were asked the same question put a higher priority on controlling guns, while 37 percent asserted that Second Amendment rights were more important.
Meanwhile, a separate Gallup poll showed that a majority of Americans think more spending on mental health programs and an added security presence in schools would be more effective at stopping similar school shooting than reinstating a prohibition on certain weapons.
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Robert Patten, EastIdahoNews.com
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
Pamela Brown, Jake Tapper and Dan Merica, CNN
Eli Watkins, CNN