Washington is on edge over gun violence and possible new gun laws, which means there will be a lot of talk over the next few months about the business of selling and owning firearms, violent images in the media, the influence of the National Rifle Association, gun culture, hunting ducks--you name it.
In the swarm of verbiage that has already graced the newsprint and airwaves, a few concrete ideas have emerged about regulating guns: expanding background checks, banning assault weapons, and limiting high-capacity magazines.
Polling indicates that there is at least a slim majority of public support for each of those ideas. Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., last month, the public is tilting toward tighter gun laws. A United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted last week showed 51 percent of respondents favor controlling gun ownership over protecting the rights of Americans to own guns. That’s up from 47 percent in July, days after the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and up from 45 percent last April
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