The Slatest

Americans No Longer Support an Assault Weapons Ban

The SUV used by San Bernardino shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

Photo by San Bernardino County Sherrif’s Department via Getty Images

Well, this is something. From ABC:

A majority of Americans oppose banning assault weapons for the first time in more than 20 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls, with the public expressing vast doubt that the authorities can prevent “lone wolf” terrorist attacks and a substantial sense that armed citizens can help.

Just 45 percent in this national survey favor an assault weapons ban, down 11 percentage points from an ABC/Post poll in 2013 and down from a peak of 80 percent in 1994. Fifty-three percent oppose such a ban, the most on record.

Americans specifically believe, by a margin of 47 percent to 42 percent, that encouraging civilians to carry guns is a better response to terrorism than instituting more gun control laws.

It only makes sense. What sounds safer to you: a movie theater in which the audience includes a deranged white male loner who is obsessed with Columbine but has been prevented from buying an arsenal of weapons because of background check requirements, or a crowded movie theater in which that psychotic loner and a number of other civilian Tom Clancy enthusiasts with no law enforcement or military training are heavily armed and firing at each other with armor-piercing ammunition?