Perhaps the best way to understand the public mindset on the gun control debate is to look at Gallup polling from earlier this year. The survey asked a simple question and a follow-up: Are you satisfied with the nation’s gun laws? And if you’re unsatisfied, do you want stricter or looser gun laws?
This year, only 36% of Americans said they were dissatisfied and wanted stricter gun control laws. Sixty-one percent were either satisfied (41%), dissatisfied but wanted less strict laws (13%) or dissatisfied and wanted no change (7%).
These numbers do shift somewhat from year to year, but the “dissatisfied and want stricter gun laws” opinion has never been a majority one this century.
The reason I like the question is because it gets at the intensity of feelings about the gun debate. Most people are generally fine with our country’s gun laws (to the degree that they are satisfied) or want them to be less strict.