Poll Shows Most Americans Do Not Favor New Gun Laws
(CNSNews.com) - A national survey of voter attitudes concerning guns and youth violence, conducted by the Pew Research Center, shows an overwhelming number of Americans favor stricter enforcement of existing guns laws rather than the passage of new legislation.
The PEW poll found two thirds of those questioned wanted more enforcement of existing gun laws while only six percent supported the passage of new, tougher laws. The survey was carried out to coincide with last week's first anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. That shooting spree left 15 dead, including 12 students, the two teenage shooters and a teacher.
A newly released Associated Press poll also found most Americans, by a margin of 42 percent to 33 percent, in favor of more enforcement of existing gun laws rather than the enactment of new laws.
The findings were quickly seized upon by Texas Governor George W Bush, who faulted the Clinton-Gore Administration for failing to enforce existing laws while calling for new and tougher laws and regulations.
Bush also called for the teaching of character education in the nation's schools as a long-term response to youth violence.
"Strict enforcement of tough laws is important. But ultimately, the safety of our children depends on more than just laws. It depends on the values we teach them and the kind of culture we create and condone.
"Columbine was a sad lesson, but it is an important reminder for us to love our children and to teach our children what's right in life and what's wrong in life (in order) to make life's choices," Bush said.
Vice President Al Gore has proposed new and stricter gun measures, including requiring photo licenses for handgun buyers and requiring gun makers to report sales to state agencies.
Gore's campaign recently issued a press release that pointed out the differences between he and his GOP rival, including criticizing Bush for his support of a concealed weapons measure that the Texan signed into law in that state in 1995.