The public remains divided -- and deeply so along party lines -- on the issue of gun control and gun rights. Most Americans say tragic events like the shooting are just the isolated acts of troubled individuals, and not a reflection of broader problems in American society.
Opinion about gun control has been split since April 2009, but this marked a substantial change in attitudes from previous years in which majorities of Americans consistently prioritized gun control over gun rights. See a breakdown of opinion about gun control across numerous demographic categories.
Surveys taken before the Virginia Tech shootings showed that Americans had become less disposed to support gun control measures than they were in the years surrounding the Columbine school shootings in 1999.