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New poll: increasing support for stricter gun laws

A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows that support for stricter gun laws is the highest Gallup has measured since January 2004.

A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows that support for stricter gun laws is the highest Gallup has measured since January 2004. The poll showed 58% of Americans saying laws governing the sale of firearms should be made more strict--up from 43% in October 2011. Other results: 34% say laws should be kept as they are, and 6% say laws should be made less strict. A sky-high 92% of respondents also favor a law of requiring background checks before people can purchase guns at gun shows, a proposal which President Obama recently cited as part of his administration-wide effort to curb gun violence.

USA Today wrote,“President Obama supports efforts to reinstate an assault weapons ban as part of a comprehensive plan to address gun violence, his spokesman said Tuesday. Press Secretary Jay Carney added that Obama would back proposals to close the ‘gun show loophole,’ which allows people to buy weapons without background checks."

The Gallup poll also asked Americans if they would support a ban on the sale and possession of ammunition clips that contain more than 10 bullets: 62% are in favor, and 35% oppose the ban. However, a slight majority, 51% of Americans, do not support an assault weapons ban while 44% support it.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa moved up its city-organized gun buyback program, usually held on Mother's Day, in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown. By Wednesday afternoon, the event had already surpassed the 1,673 guns collected last year, and officials were scrambling to get more gift cards, donated by a local grocery chain Ralphs. Cars lined up for blocks at the drive-through events to exchange their handguns, shotguns, rifles, and assault weapons for up to $200 in groceries.

Similar gun buyback programs are happening across the country. Lansing, M.I., will run its own soon, a New Jersey town is matching dollars given in gun buybacks with donations to the victims of the Connecticut shooting, and New York City, Camden, N.J., Baltimore, and San Francisco have already run buyback days in response to the shooting.

Some opponents of gun control, such as Arizona's Attorney General, have suggested arming teachers and school administrators. Tom Horne has proposed arming one principal or employee at each school to defend themselves against shootings like the one in Sandy Hook elementary school. "The ideal solution would be to have an armed police officer in each school," Horne said in a news release Wednesday. But budget cuts have limited the number of Arizona schools with "school resource officers." He continued, "The next best solution is to have one person in the school trained to handle firearms, to handle emergency situations, and possessing a firearm in a secure location."

Horne calls his proposal "a golden mean between two extremes. One extreme is to allow all teachers to bring guns to school, which could create more dangers than it prevents. The other extreme is to do nothing, which everyone will regret if a preventable incident like Newtown would occur in the future.”

Horne adds himself to a list of anti-gun control politicians who want to arm their schools. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell wants to up the number of weapons in schools, Texas Governor Rick Perry who advocates concealed weapons on school grounds, and members of the Oklahoma state legislature who want teachers to bring whatever guns they want.

Moreover, a Utah gun organization has offered six free hours of training in handling concealed weapons to teachers, and a firearms group in Ohio has announced its launch of a test program in tactical firearms training for 24 teachers.