November 16, 2009

Guns, God and Gays: Public Opinion on Gun Rights, Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage

Prof. Nathaniel Persily of Columbia Law School will be guest-blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy this coming week about new work that he, Harvard Government Professor Stephen Ansolabehere, and fellow Columbia Law School professor Jamal Greene have been doing related to public opinion on various constitutional issues.

Here is an excerpt from his first post:
First, guns: It is well known that support for stricter gun laws has been going down for some time. See http://www.gallup.com/poll/123596/In-U.S.-Record-Low-Support-Stricter-Gun-Laws.aspx . Our survey included the question: “In general, do you agree or disagree that an individual should have a right to have a registered handgun at home?” 52% strongly agreed, 30% agreed somewhat, 10% disagreed somewhat, and 7% strongly disagreed. This is also consistent with polls concerning views of the Second Amendment, where over 70 percent view gun ownership as an individual right. See http://www.gallup.com/poll/105721/Public-Believes-Americans-Right-Own-Guns.aspx. It appears that support for gun rights has increased during Obama’s first year in office, although the trajectory seems to be a continuation of a trend that began during the last years of the Bush Administration. See http://www.pollingreport.com/guns.htm

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