Americans Like Obama’s Gun-Control Ideas—Unless You Tell Them They’re Obama’s

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brendanloy/3451128790/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Brendan Loy</a>/Flickr

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Americans are remarkably supportive of requiring criminal background checks to buy a gun, banning civilans from buying armor-piercing bullets, and spending more government money training law enforcement officials to deal with mass shootings, new poll by Gallup finds. No fewer than nine in ten people said they’d support requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, Gallup found; eight in ten said they’d vote for more government spending on mental health programs for young people and also on more training for police officers and school officials to respond to armed attacks. Indeed, the least popular of the nine gun-control ideas advocated by President Obama, according to the poll, is a ban on the sale of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds. And that idea was still favored by more than half of all respondents.

So what’s the catch? The poll didn’t mention Obama by name. Last week, when Gallup polled Americans on the president’s gun-control plans and name-dropped the president, just 53 percent said they’d tell their representatives in Congress to support them.

Here are the full results:

 

We’ll leave it to others to ponder the reasons for the discrepancy, but in practical terms this represents a challenge facing the president as he makes the push for new gun policies: Sell the public on his ideas while staying out of the way. 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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