Deep rift over gun control in US despite string of deadly shootings:Poll



The division in U.S. public sentiment over gun control has grown deeper despite a string of deadly shootings, according to a poll released Thursday.

CBS News and market research and data analytics firm YouGov interviewed 2,073 U.S. adults online from Dec. 5 to Dec. 11 to release their report on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

To a majority of gun owners, guns are part of what makes America "great" (53 percent), "free" (61 percent), "strong" (55 percent) and "safe" (59 percent), according to the poll.

However, for non-gun owners, firearms make America "dangerous" (55 percent) and "scary" (38 percent), as well as representing "one of the country's biggest problems".

The poll found that 63 percent believe that mass shootings like the Las Vegas, Newtown or Orlando carnages can be prevented, but there is a split between gun owners and non-gun owners.

Fifty-one percent gun owners believe mass shootings are something one has to accept in a free society, while 67 percent of non-gun owners say they can be stopped if efforts are made.

According to the poll, 76 percent of Americans who do not support stricter gun laws worry that any such laws would lead to taking away all guns while 69 percent don't like the idea of the government having databases of gun owners. An overwhelming 86 percent also believe that laws do nothing to stop criminals from having guns.

As the debate over guns heats up, both sides mistrust each others' motives. Most gun owners suspect gun-control groups are trying to take away all guns and give the government more control over people. Non-gun owners think gun rights supporters are trying to arm themselves for a larger conflict, according to the poll.

The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, region, party identification, and gun ownership based on the 2016 General Social Survey and included an oversample of 871 gun owners. The margin of error is approximately 2.7 percent.