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Poll: Are New Gun Laws Needed in Wake of Spree Killings?

Should Americans rethink their antipathy to tighter gun laws in the wake of massacres in Colorado and Wisconsin?

The recent spree killings by gunmen in Colorado and Wisconsin have resurrected a debate over gun control. However, at the moment, there appears scant interest on the part of lawmakers to strengthen gun laws — especially in an election year.

While some advocate for stricter controls, polls indicate a majority of Americans themselves seem unwilling to accept new gun restrictions. Many have even argued that making it easier for law-abiding citizens to arm themselves would actually decrease killings and help deter the type of massacres that occurred in Colorado and Wisconsin.

In Colorado, the number of background checks to buy guns jumped 43 percent in the days following the movie-theater shootings that killed 12 and injured dozens, compared to the previous weekend, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which runs the checks. The 2,887 background checks done over the weekend of the killings were also 39 percent higher than the first weekend in July, according to the agency.

According to a USA Today report: "Two bills circulating in Congress would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, such as the 100-round drum used in Friday's attack. But passage of those bills — or stiffer bans on assault weapons — are not likely in the near future, says Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., sponsor of the House bill. Powerful lobbying from the National Rifle Association, the largest pro-gun group, and other organizations has ground Congress to a halt on gun issues, she says."

President Obama recently said that the shootings call for a national "soul searching" on gun violence, but neither his administration or fellow Democrats are in any hurry to suggest new gun controls. And new controls are typically anathema to Republican lawmakers in general. 

Despite the fact that little if anything in the way of new laws may come from the killings — despite desperate pleas from a group of the nation's Mayors and survivors of recent killing sprees to act now — we want to gauge your opinion on the matter.

Take our poll below and leave us your comments.

stanley seigler August 10, 2012 at 07:37 PM
@D. Dantzler: '...Some states make it extremely difficult for a person to buy a gun, register it, go through training, etc... Just to have it for protection!!! which states and why not all states...knife law quoted is a fed law... why would anyone who feels need to carry a gun object to training and registration... re: more regulation will not change "crazy" people from getting their hands on a weapon... maybe...but no regs make it easier for crazies to murder innocent citizens, children and those they hate...eg sikhs who they think are muslins...oh/and; bet 'no reg' gun advocates favor death penalty even tho it doesn't stop crazies from killing...kinda ironic...yo thunk?
stanley seigler August 10, 2012 at 08:32 PM
@D. Dantzler: '...would prefer that no one has guns. Period! You need to take another look at some of the gun regulations out there and the costs associated with owning a gun. you assume too much...only prefer regulations to prevent over the counter purchase of, eg, assault weapons, excessive amounts of ammo, and 100 round clips...w/o background checks and reasonable explanation as to why needed. probably do need to take another look at regs...as you seem to be familiar with current laws...could/would you provide me with links...
stanley seigler August 10, 2012 at 09:05 PM
@Jason: '...that's my current right.' not if you're a schizophrenic, an alcohoic, a homophobe (kidding), nazi skin head, black panther, KKK member er, right wing nut (again kidding), regilous nut (not kidding), drug addic, on terrorist watch list, etcetc...
Tom Musolf August 11, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Slow down folks....it will take a lot more than "internet chat" to resolve the issue. If you think there may be a problem pending, get in touch with those law makers in public office that are pro/con. You could fill pages with your opinion and that is all it will be...opinion. An internet entry will not sway me either way. You can take that to the bank.
stanley seigler August 11, 2012 at 02:07 PM
@Tom Musolf: '...will not sway...' have no illusions opines, even fact backed, sway anyone on PATCH...posts just beat, by a smidgen, talking to one's self and cussin the talking heads...course this just an "opinion" oh/and, it also beats listening to 'pro/com law makers' debate on house floor...many opines expressed here worth more than the opinions expressed in US house debates...pro/con law maker's mines made up...debate/opines dont sway them either... course this just another "opinion"...

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