Study by Emerson College students shows 55 percent of U.S. citizens want stricter gun laws

A display of 7-round .45 caliber handguns are seen at Coliseum Gun Traders Ltd. in Uniondale, New York.

A group of local college students today released the findings of a national survey on gun control

The survey, which was conducted by the recently revived Emerson College Polling Society over the weekend, shows that 55 percent of people would support stricter gun laws while only 12 percent favored less strict gun laws.
As lawmakers propose new gun control measures, the survey suggests that universal background checks on gun buyers are supported by 83 percent of respondents, and a ban on assault weapons is supported by 60 percent of the respondents. On other policies under consideration, 58 percent of those polled favor a ban on magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition. On another hotly contested issue, 51 percent support a ban on video games that depict gun violence with 29 percent opposing such legislation.
The most contentious policy among those polled is on the placement of armed guards in schools:  47 percent support such placement with 36 percent opposing.  There are gender differences on this policy; 55 percent of males support armed guards in schools, with only 39 percent of women favoring this policy.
Grey VanDeMark, president of the polling society, said that GOP lawmakers ought not to oppose all gun control measures, as the poll found that “64 percent of Republicans support universal background checks and 38 percent of Republicans support a ban on assault weapons.”
Within the context of the Newtown, C.T. shooting, 33 percent of those polled identified the cause as a lack of mental health facilities, 23 percent identified the availability of guns, and 18 percent said that violent themes in media and video games contributed to the shooting.
There was a clear divide between Democrats and Republicans on such issues.  Forty-three percent of Democrats identified the availability of guns as the primary cause, as compared to 6 percent of Republicans. Forty-one percent of Republicans attributed the mass shootings to the lack of mental health care, while 26 percent of Democrats agree.
Gun control was not seen by the respondents as the most important issue facing the country however; the deficit – 30 percent – and the need for jobs -30 percent – were rated more important than gun control – 7 percent.

Other Key Findings:
65 percent of respondents were able to correctly define “assault weapon” as automatic or semi-automatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use.
Among those polled, President Barack Obama had a 50 percent favorable rating. House Speaker John Boehner had a 27 percent favorable rating and a 53 percent unfavorable opinion.
Forty-nine percent of the overall sample had a favorable view of the National Rifle Association. However, only 17 percent of Democrats surveyed view the NRA positively.
Among those surveyed who were identified as members of the NRA,  65 percent support universal background checks on gun buyers. Forty-five percent of the participants in the survey own a gun.

Data was collected between Jan. 18 and  Jan. 20 using an automated data collection system. The national survey consisted of 1,290 registered voters with a margin of error of 2.6 percent with a 95 percent confidence level.

The full survey and results are available at the polling group’s website.


Brighton women indicted in scam involving care of…

A pair of Brighton women were due in Suffolk Superior Court Thursday morning after being indicted for allegedly stealing from an elderly woman whose trust…


Florida man tied to Aaron Hernandez charged with…

Oscar Hernandez, a man tied to former New England Patriots Player Aaron Hernandez, was arrested Wednesday evening in Florida on federal charges out of Boston for obstruction of justice, witness…


Putin fields question from NSA fugitive Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during…


Crews battle fires in Dorchester, Cambridge overnight

Fires ripped through homes in Dorchester and Cambridge overnight causing injuries and displacing scores of residents.


Way to go, guys: 'Game of Thrones' broke…

Proving that not everyone has parents who subscribe to HBO and are generous with their HBO Go logins, the latest episode of "Game of Thrones"…


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

The Word

Lawsuit accuses 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer of raping…

A new lawsuit accuses director Bryan Singer of sexual assault against a minor.


Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.


Rondo on rebuild: Count me in

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo fielded questions from reporters last night after his team dropped a 118-102 decision to the Washington Wizards (44-38), which finally…


MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win


Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.


Star-studded summer camps

Give your child the star treatment this summer with a celebrity-endorsed camp.


How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.