Friday, January 18, 2013

American views on gun control - shifting at last?



The New York Times reports today that a recent Times/CBS News poll appears to show that Americans have - at last! - begun to agree that gun laws need tightening:
[T]he poll found that a majority of Americans — 54 percent — think gun control laws should be tightened, up markedly from a CBS News poll last April that found that only 39 percent backed stricter laws.
The rise in support for stricter gun laws stretched across political lines, including an 18-point increase among Republicans. A majority of independents now back stricter gun laws.
It gets better: support for background checks at all gun sales (including those by unlicensed sellers_ and a ban on high-capacity magazines is increasing.

But since this is a blog about data use, what's wrong with the chart? Two things - it doesn't say when the reporting period starts, just shows two dates in the middle, 2005 and 2010. And while it appears that the scale starts at 0, it's possible that it doesn't. So the chart could be better. The data give me some cause for hope.

The Guardian has put together a very good chart on varying state gun laws. It's here.

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