Public support for a ban on semiautomatic rifles is, unfortunately, shakier than that for background checks. In fact, a majority of Americans now oppose such bans, according to recent Gallup polls, though in the aftermath of the massacre of 26 people at a Texas church in November 2017, a majority supported a ban. That’s a perplexing dynamic. Mass killings are emotionally difficult for the nation (not to mention the survivors, the victims’ families, and the communities in which they live), so it makes sense that an outrageous act like an attack on a church or a school erodes support for private ownership of the military-style weapons involved. That support for a ban then wanes over time reflects a basic social tension: the balance between what is perceived to be the exercise of an individual’s right to own a gun and the broader public’s right to go about one’s daily life safely.
Source: latimes.com – Los Angeles Times