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Do Americans want tougher gun control laws or not?

Do Americans want tougher gun control laws or not?  The real answer might surprise you.

The latest Pew Research poll shows most Americans value gun rights over gun restrictions by a narrow margin. 

49 percent say it's more important to protect the right to own a gun.  But that hasn't always been the case.

Support for stricter gun laws actually spiked right after the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. Pollsters call it the "Columbine bump."

But over the long haul, that support for stricter gun laws looks like it's dropped.  Or has it?

But just like the Affordable Care Act (ACT), it really depends on the question you ask.

When pollsters ask about specific gun restrictions, this is what they get instead:

  • 86% of Americans want background checks.
  • 63% want a ban on high-capacity clips and magazines.
  • 69% want to limit the number of guns you can buy at a time.
  • 66% want a national gun registry.
  • 88% percent think people on the terror watch list should not be able to buy a gun.

So it turns out that most Americans support common-sense restrictions on guns.  However, it's unlikely any of those common-sense measures will be passed anytime soon.