For the first time in 20 years, gun rights are favored over gun control

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

According to a recent Pew Research poll, Americans are now saying protecting the rights of citizen’s to own a firearm is more important than the need to control guns.

The research says about 52 percent of those polled are saying they favor protecting the right to own firearms, while 46 percent say they prefer gun control.  This is a substantial shift in public opinion from the early 90’s when the public was in favor of gun control, polling at 57 percent, while those who wanted to protect the right to own a firearm were polled at 34 percent.

While both sides of the political spectrum have been arguing over healthcare and immigration among other hot topics, this poll found support for gun rights has increased in both Republicans and Democrats by 6 points, while it also increased by 7 points among Independents.  According to RT, support for gun ownership was up in all demographics except for liberal Democrats and Hispanics, but support for gun rights went down only one or two points in these groups.

African-Americans were also found to be more likely to believe owning a firearm does more to protect a person rather than threaten another.  The support from African-Americans has almost doubled since early 2012 when 29 percent of those polled supported gun rights while the new poll found 54 percent of African-Americans back gun ownership.

An October Gallup poll found similar results, showing only 26 percent of people think handguns should be banned from being sold to the public while 73 percent of people think no such law should be considered.

Research also found homicides related to firearms has fallen from 1993 according to NPR.  At the time, seven homicides per 100,000 people were attributed to gun violence, while in recent years, 3.6 homicides have been attributed to firearms.

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