After the horrific shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., a year ago claiming the lives of 20 children and six adults, there was a sense in the country – especially among gun-control supporters -- that the tragedy would be different from similar ones in the past and push the nation to action. But ultimately, a sustained change in public opinion did not materialize, and a bill to tighten gun laws died in the Senate.
Supporters of gun-rights tend to feel more strongly about their position, and more willing to act on it politically, than backers of gun-control legislation.
About four-in-ten Americans report having a gun in their household, either their own or someone else’s.
There’s a pretty good chance that immigration legislation will become law this year. The prospects for enacting a gun control bill are not nearly as promising, according to the American public.
More than a third of Americans say they or someone in their household owns a gun.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say that if the Senate background checks bill is reintroduced, Congress should pass it. But even gun control advocates are pessimistic about the bill’s chances.
National rates of gun homicide, non-fatal gun crime and all non-fatal violent crimes have fallen since the mid-1990s. Explore the trends by age, race and gender in this interactive.
Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000. Despite the drop, 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher today than 20 years ago.
On Twitter, the tone of conversation on gun control shifted back and forth, but the NRA faced more criticism than support. The terms “Newtown” and “gun control” dominated the conversation.
The key Senate vote that halted gun control legislation last week is drawing a mixed reaction from the American public: 47% express negative feelings about the vote while 39% have a positive reaction to the Senate’s rejection of gun control legislation that included background checks on gun purchases.