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Two Years After Newtown, Americans' Views on Gun Rights Isn't What Anti-Gun Activists Will Want to See

BRIDGETON, MO - NOVEMBER 12: Steven King helps a customer shop for her first handgun at Metro Shooting Supplies on November 12, 2014 in Bridgeton, Missouri. The suburban St. Louis store is located near Ferguson, Missouri where several weeks of sometimes violent protests erupted following the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. The gun shop last week experienced a 300 percent increase in sales over the same period last year. About 60 percent of those sales were from first-time gun owners. The increase is attributed in part to concern from residents of additional outbreaks of violence if the grand jury investigating Brown's death does not find justification to prosecute Wilson for the shooting. The grand jurys decision is expected sometime in November.
Credit
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Support for gun rights has surged in the two years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Pew said that for the first time in more than 20 years of its surveys, support for gun rights outweighs support for gun control among Americans.

BRIDGETON, MO - NOVEMBER 12: Steven King helps a customer shop for her first handgun at Metro Shooting Supplies on November 12, 2014 in Bridgeton, Missouri. The suburban St. Louis store is located near Ferguson, Missouri where several weeks of sometimes violent protests erupted following the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. The gun shop last week experienced a 300 percent increase in sales over the same period last year. About 60 percent of those sales were from first-time gun owners. The increase is attributed in part to concern from residents of additional outbreaks of violence if the grand jury investigating Brown's death does not find justification to prosecute Wilson for the shooting. The grand jurys decision is expected sometime in November. Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images Steven King helps a customer shop for her first handgun at Metro Shooting Supplies, Nov. 12, 2014 in Bridgeton, Mo. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Fifty-two percent of American adults surveyed agreed that “it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns,” while 46 percent said “it is more important to control gun ownership,” according to Pew.

After a gunman murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012, President Barack Obama and other lawmakers made a strong push for more gun control. Shortly after the shooting, 51 percent of Americans backed stricter gun control, while 45 percent said gun rights were paramount. However, a bill to beef up background checks for gun purchasers failed to even pass the Democrat-controlled Senate in 2013.

The Pew survey also found that 57 percent of American adults said that gun ownership does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, while 38 percent said gun ownership does more to endanger people. Soon after the Newtown massacre, 48 percent said guns did more to protect people and 37 percent said they put people at greater risk.

The Pew survey of 1,507 adults was conducted between Dec. 3 and Dec. 7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

(H/T: Washington Post)

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