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Fox News poll: Gun owners are turning on the NRA and most of them want more gun control

A Fox News poll shows dwindling support for the NRA and its radical agenda.

By Dan Desai Martin - August 15, 2019
U.S. Army veteran Pax Riddle holds a sign during a rally protesting the National Rifle Association's annual convention

For the first time in polling, more Americans have an unfavorable view of the NRA than support the organization, according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday.

Almost half of Americans (47%) have a negative view of the NRA, an extremist group that opposes even the most popular gun safety measures, such a background checks on anyone who wants to purchase a gun. Only 42% have a favorable view.

Even among gun owners, support for the NRA has dropped significantly in the past year. In 2018, 67% of gun owners supported the group, but that number dropped to just 56% in the Fox News poll, an 11-point decline in just one year.

The poll, conducted after mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton in a single weekend, showed Americans are ready for Congress to take action to prevent more mass shootings. When asked to use their own words to describe why mass shootings keep happening, the most popular answer was access to guns.

A full 90% of Americans support criminal background checks for anyone who wants to purchase a gun. The idea has the support of 92% of Democrats, 89% of Republicans, and 93% of gun owners.

In February, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring background checks for guns. For more than 165 days, the bill has sat on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk because McConnell refuses to allow the Senate to even take a vote on it.

After the shootings in El Paso and Dayton earlier this month, McConnell dismissed pleas to call the Senate back to pass gun safety legislation as mere “theatrics.”

According to the Fox News poll, Americans’ appetite for gun safety laws does not end with background checks. Fully two-thirds of Americans support a ban on assault weapons, an increase from 2018. More than half of gun owners (53%) and independents (58%) support such a ban.

When it comes to Trump’s handling of the situation, almost half of the country (46%) think Trump has made the nation less safe from mass shootings. The mass shooting in El Paso was carried out by a white supremacist who told police he wanted to shoot “Mexicans” when he entered a Walmart and killed 22 people. In his writings, the suspect used racist language about immigrants that mirrored racist language used by Trump and Fox News pundits.

“Words have consequences. And the president has made my community and my people the enemy,” Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), who represents El Paso, said after the shooting. “He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated.”

According to the Fox News poll, only 15% think Trump has made the country more safe from mass shootings.

The House Judiciary Committee is returning early from the August recess to consider additional gun safety legislation. Despite overwhelming evidence of what Americans want, McConnell still refuses to do anything.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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