WASHINGTON — There has been no major shift in US public opinion about the role of guns in America after the shooting of a US member of congress in Arizona, according to a poll out Wednesday.
A Pew Research Center poll showed that 49 percent of people polled say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than to control them, against 46 percent who prioritize gun control.
In September 2010, 50 percent of those polled prioritized laws for gun control against 46 who prioritized gun rights, according to Pew.
"There is no sign that the longer trend toward an emphasis on gun owners' rights has abated," Pew said.
In the January 8 attack a lone, misfit gunman killed six people and seriously wounded Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
Gun control remains a deeply partisan issue: among Republicans, 72 percent to 22 percent say protecting gun rights is more important, while Democrats prioritize gun control by a 70 percent to 26 percent margin.
Political independents are divided, with 52 percent favoring gun rights and 44 percent favoring gun control.
Most of those polled however did not see the Tucson shooting as an indication of broader social problems: 58 percent said shootings like that were just "the isolated acts of troubled individuals," while only 31 percent saw them as "a reflection of broader problems" in US society.
The January 13-16 poll of 1,000 adults in the United States has a plus or minus four percentage point margin of error.