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October 23, 2002

THERE MUST BE MUCH GNASHING OF TEETH AT THE VIOLENCE POLICY CENTER and the Brady Campaign over this Gallup poll:

PRINCETON, NJ -- The ongoing sniper rampage outside of Washington D.C. has dominated news coverage across America since the first deadly shooting spree on Oct. 3, and has perhaps exposed the limits of law enforcement to the public in a stark new way. However, despite the frightful nature of these events, and the fact that the sniper (or snipers) remains at large, a Gallup Poll conducted Oct. 14-17, finds no evident change in public attitudes about gun ownership. . . .

There has also been no change in the percentage of Americans claiming to purchase guns for their own security. What has changed is public confidence in the police. Although a majority of Americans continue to express high confidence in the police to protect them from violent crime, this figure is down somewhat compared to October 2001.

So much for their efforts to politicize this issue, so far: "Public attitudes today about the strength of gun laws are almost exactly the same as they were a year ago, in October 2001." There's more, and it's all pretty interesting. What's most interesting (scroll down) is the steady decline (of over 33% from the high in 1990) over the past decade in the number of people who think gun laws should be "more strict."

Of course, gun laws have become more strict over the past ten years, so maybe a lot of people (excluding those at VPC, Brady, and other anti-gun groups, of course) just got what they wanted and don't want any more.