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


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. 

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.