According to a new poll conducted after the massacre in Newtown, Conn., a majority of Americans now favor either strict limits on gun ownership or an outright ban.
The poll was conducted by CNN/ORC International on Monday and Tuesday after a gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School before taking his own life. The poll suggests that most Americans are reacting to the incident with a mix of anger, shock and fear.
Some 37 percent of those polled say that there should be major restrictions on gun ownership, while a further 15 percent said guns should be banned except for police and other authorized users for a total of 52 percent.
Only 13 percent said that there should be no restrictions on gun ownership and 33 percent said that there should only be minor restrictions.
The poll also found an increased number of Americans, 46 percent, saying that government and society can take action to prevent gun violence - up 13 percent from a similar poll taken in January 2011 after a shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six and left many injured.
The new poll also found that 53 percent said they believe attacks will continue to happen regardless of any governmental or societal response, but that number was down 13 points from the previous poll.
"Any changes in attitudes towards guns and gun violence are likely due to the highly emotional reaction many Americans have had to the recent shootings," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
He added, "All of those numbers are much higher than they were in a CNN poll conducted in January, 2011, indicating that the tragedy in Connecticut may be affecting more Americans more intensely than other recent attacks."
Some 43 percent said that the shootings in Connecticut made them more likely to support gun control laws - an increase of 15 percent from the January 2011 poll - though half of those surveyed said their opinions on gun control have not changed.
The poll questioned 620 adults nation wide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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