STUDY: Support For Gun Control at 10-Year High

Support for stricter gun control laws is the highest it's been in a decade.

December 19, 2012, 11:51 AM

Dec. 19, 2012— -- Following a mass-shooting in Newtown Conn. on Friday, in which 20 children and six adults lost their lives at gunpoint, support for stricter gun control laws is the highest it's been in a decade, according to a poll by CBS.

Conducted between December 14 and 16, the poll found that 57 percent of Americans now say that gun control laws should be made more strict, an 18 point jump from spring of this year. Still, only 42 percent of Americans polled this week said that stricter gun laws would have helped prevent the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary school.

A similar CBS poll conducted in January of 2011, following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, found that just 47 percent of Americans said that gun control laws should be made more strict.

So, who is most likely to support stricter regulation? Women and Latinos, according to a poll conducted in April of this year by the Pew.

Latinos are the most likely to say that controlling gun ownership should be prioritized over protecting the right to bear arms, while African Americans are the second most likely to feel this way. Whites, on the other hand, are the most likely to value the right to bear arms, according to the report. Women are more likely than men to prioritize controlling ownership.

57 percent of whites surveyed said it was more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns, while just 37 percent of whites said it's important to control gun ownership, according to the survey. In contrast just 29 percent of Latinos and 39 percent of women thought it was more important to protect gun rights.

Researchers who conducted a similar poll in 2011 for the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition noted that Latinos may be more likely to support strict gun control laws because of increasing gun violence in Latin America and because Latinos are disproportionately affected by shootings in the U.S, according to a report by Voxxi.

Latinos are more than twice as likely to die of gun-related violence as white Americans, and African Americans are more than five times as likely to die from gun violence as whites, according to 2010 data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Some suggest that the growing Latino demographic will push politicians to favor stronger gun control laws in the future. NBC Latino contributor Raul A. Reyes argued in a post earlier this year that Latinos could make a big difference on the national stage.

"Perhaps in the future, as our numbers continue to grow, Hispanics will demand laws to limit the possibility of senseless gun violence," Reyes wrote.

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