Mass shootings in the US do not appear to move those Americans responding to the survey to support a ban on assault-style weapons. According to the Wednesday ABC News poll, 53% of Americans answering the questionnaire opposed a ban on assault weapons, and 45% supported a ban.
In the wake of daily mass shootings in the US, a vast majority of Americans believe that the government is incapable of protecting them. A natural response is to buy a gun. The highest percentage of those surveyed since the 1990s now claim that they feel safer owning a gun and using it to protect themselves.
The poll showed 77% percent of those surveyed do not believe the government can protect them, in contrast with 22% of the respondents feeling that the government can protect them from gun-toting psychopaths intent on killing.
The Democratic Party has recently introduced a gun-control bill in Congress which reportedly is considered to be a renewal of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, under President Bill Clinton.
At the time, 80% of those polled supported a ban. Congress passed the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban and it stayed in effect for ten years. Despite a drop in mass shootings, pundits claimed it was full of obvious loopholes and mostly ineffective at stopping gun violence.
Over twenty years later, the percentage of those supporting the ban has been lessened by a factor of two, and the country sees at least one mass shooting almost every day.
Gun-control advocates defend the Obama administration actions while saying that a ban would reduce the possibility of mass-killing.
"Assault weapons are designed for the sole purpose of killing as many people as quickly as possible," Rep. David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island), a sponsor of the assault-weapon ban bill, told The Hill. "We need to do everything we can to reduce the toll of gun violence by keeping these weapons out of our communities."
Opponents of gun control strongly condemn the idea of an assault-weapon ban as an effective way to end the mass murder of innocents by people with violent extremist beliefs. They point out the vague definition of "assault weapon" as undermining legislative utility.
As for measures to curb the threat of domestic terrorism in the United States, Obama in a recent address to the nation called for congressional action to enact a ban on gun purchases by people who are on the TSA "no-fly list," and tighter restrictions on assault weapons.
The broadly-interpreted Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right of Americans to keep and bear arms.
The US Senate Democrats will reportedly be working to get gun control legislation on the agenda at the start of the 2016.