President Obama’s gun control reforms have the support of most of the American people, several recent polls suggest. Motivated by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last month, citizens support increased regulations more than they have in years. While Congress remains divided, Obama’s initiatives appear to represent the American majority.
An online Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 74 percent of respondents favored a ban on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. Newtown, Conn., shooter Adam Lanza used an assault rifle and two other semi-automatic weapons during his attack on the elementary school. James Holmes was also armed with a semi-automatic rifle when he shot 70 people in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. Holmes’ weapon was equipped with a 100-round drum magazine.
According to a CBS News/New York Times poll, 90 percent of those surveyed supported mandatory background checks for potential gun owners, including those purchasing weapons privately or at gun shows. The National Rifle Association has opened up to an increase in background checks, though the group and other gun lobbyists oppose other reforms.
“There are some who say the most powerful voice in the debate belongs to the gun lobbies and those who demand a stop to these common-sense approaches to save lives. I think they’re wrong,” Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday. “This time, this time will not be like the times that have come before. Newtown has shocked the nation.”