Most Americans Oppose Re-instituting a National Assault Weapon Ban

New surveys by ABC News/Washington Post and CBS News/New York Times show that the drop in support for a nationwide ban in so-called "assault weapons" mirrors the general decline in support for gun control that has been observed in the last couple of decades (here and here).  The  average of the two surveys weighted by the number of people surveyed shows that 6.9% more people oppose a national ban than support it.  See also here.
ABC:Wash Post Survey on AWB
CBS:NYT Survey on AWB



More Americans view letting more people carrying concealed handguns as a better solution to terrorism than stricter gun control

There has been a sharp rise in concern over terrorism, with few Americans believing that the government can stop lone-wolf attacks (22-77 percent) and not many more can stop a large scale attack (43-56 percent).  A new Gallup poll shows that terrorism has become the number one issue on voters' minds (16% rank terrorism as the number one issue, 13% say government, and 9% say the economy).
President Obama keeps pushing for more gun control as the solution to the threat of terrorism.
We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons—weapons of war—to kill as many people as they could.  It’s another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.
For example, right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun.  That is insane.  If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun.  And so I’m calling on Congress to close this loophole, now.  We may not be able to prevent every tragedy, but—at a bare minimum—we shouldn’t be making it so easy for potential terrorists or criminals to get their hands on a gun that they could use against Americans. . . .
A new ABC News/Washington Post Poll puts asks people whether the best way to respond to terrorism is stricter gun control or letting people carry permitted concealed handguns for protection.  A majority of Republicans and Independents, moderates and conservatives, as well as those in the broad middle class view permitted concealed handguns as the preferred solution (see below).
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A recent CNN poll from October had a smaller difference of only 2 percentage points, but it mentions neither the words "concealed" nor "legal."
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UPDATE: Hillary Clinton was asked about this ABC News/Washington Post survey during the December 19, 2015 Democratic Presidential Debate.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, in the wake of the San Bernardino attack, you all emphasized gun control. But our latest poll shows that more Americans believe arming people, not stricter gun laws, is the best defense against terrorism. Are they wrong?
CLINTON: "Well, I think you have to look at both the terrorism challenge that we face abroad and certainly at home and the role that guns play in delivering the violence that stalks us. Clearly, we have to have a very specific set of actions to take. When senator Sanders talks about a coalition, I agree with him about that. We've got to build a coalition abroad. We also have to build a coalition at home. Abroad we need a coalition that is going to take on ISIS. I know how hard that is. I know it isn't something you just hope people will do --"
RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, can we stick to gun control?"
CLINTON: "I'm getting to that. Because I think if you only think about the coalition abroad you're missing the main point, which is we need a coalition here at home. Guns in and of themselves in my opinion will not make Americans safer. We lose 33,000 people a year already to gun violence. Arming more people to do what I think is not the appropriate response to terrorism. I think what is


Four Concealed Handgun Permit Holders use their guns to stop violent crimes in the last week

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Calumet City, Illinois, December 17, 2015
A Calumet City resident prevented a gunmen from robbing him by pulling out his gun and firing it at the would-be robber, Midlothian police reported.
The 68-year-old man, who has a concealed-carry gun permit, told police that a man tried to rob him and his 9-year-old son Dec. 5 in the 3300 block of 147th Street.
A witness said he heard people arguing outside, heard four or five gunshots and saw a man running through back yards heading south on Turner Avenue, according to police. . . .
Salt Lake City, Utah, December 15, 2015
Hunt [an EMT], who has a concealed firearms license, was carrying a gun.
"Logan City detectives and State Crime Lab technicians are still piecing together the sequence of events," Jensen wrote, "but it is believed there was an exchange of gunfire, followed by a rapid retreat of all personnel to positions of cover." . . .
Houston, Texas, December 14, 2015
. . . It was the end to a night out that a group of people and then men who tried to rob them never expected.
“He plugged him, boom, boom, in the chest,” said one of the four victims, who did not want to give his name.
The man said he, his brother and two women were about to leave a parking lot near the bars along Washington Avenue and Jackson Hill just after 2 a.m. when two men with handguns walked up to their car.
“He said ‘Hey, give me your money,’” recalled the victim. “Well, I don’t carry cash, I just have a card. So I put up my card and my ID, and I was like, ‘Hey man this is all I have.’”
When the suspect slapped the items out of his hand, the victim says his brother got out of the car and shot the would-be robber twice in the chest. . . .
Evanston, Ohio, December 11, 2015
Cincinnati police said a robbery victim fought back by shooting and killing his 16-year-old assailant late Thursday.
Officers responded to Jonathan Avenue near Fernside Place near Walnut Hills High School about 11:30 p.m. after receiving a report of a shooting, said Captain Russ Neville, the night chief.
When police arrived, they said they a preliminary investigation determined a teen gunman tried to rob one of two contractors rehabilitating a home when the contractor walked outside to retrieve equipment from a van. The contractor turned over his wallet.
The second contractor came to the front door and saw what was occurring, Neville said.
The gunman tried to rob him of his wallet, too, but the man - who has told police he has a permit to carry a concealed gun - pulled out his firearm. . . .
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On Slate's The Gist to discuss whether has conceal-and-carry helped armed civilians defend themselves against mass public shootings

John Lott talked to Mike Pesca about whether conceal-and-carry has helped armed civilians defend themselves against mass public shootings (Monday, December 21, 2015, podcast).  Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.


On the Michael Dukes Show: Explaining the so-called "explosion" of firearms at airports

Michael Dukes Radio Show
John Lott talked to Michael Dukes about the claimed "explosion of firearms at airports" and Obama's push for expanded background checks on Friday, December 18, 2015 from 10:35 to 10:45 AM.