One Statistic Shows How the Orlando Shooting Has Swayed Public Opinion on Gun Control
CBS reported the number is up 13 percentage points from a similar poll they conducted in December, following the San Bernardino mass shooting. Still, the latest poll reveals the issue of gun control remains starkly divided on party lines, with 78% of Democrats supporting a ban but only 45% of Republicans declaring the same. When it comes to whether gun owners should be required to pass universal background checks, both Republicans (92%) and Democrats (97%) were overwhelmingly in favor.
While the new data may represent a split in attitudes toward gun control in the most recent past, the poll shows support for a nationwide ban on assault weapons has steadily decreased over time. In 1994, 78% of Americans surveyed favored a ban; in 2000, 67%; in 2009, 54%; and in 2011, 63%.
What's more, history has shown enthusiasm for pursuing gun control legislation will diminish over time in the months following a mass shooting. On Tuesday, ThinkProgress created a Google Trends graph, revealing that despite the spiked interest in gun control amid tragedies, it will eventual return to its default state — very low — until the next tragedy.
Politicians like Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, are trying to fight Americans' selective amnesia. On Wednesday, Murphy began a filibuster at 11:21 a.m. Eastern on the Senate floor to call for action on gun control.
"We've got to find a way to come together," said Murphy. "Now I don't know how long this will take but I'm going to stand here and hold the floor while we give time to our colleagues to try and find a path forward."
Correction: June 15, 2016