Poll: Gun Violence Worries Climb In Wake Of Connecticut Shooting

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NEW BRUNSWICK – Following the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., 77 percent of New Jersey adults are “very concerned” about gun violence in America, a significant increase from the 66 percent who were very concerned in a late August Rutgers-Eagleton poll of registered voters. Seventy-two percent of New Jerseyans now think controlling gun ownership is more important than protecting gun owner rights, up from 65 percent in August.

More than a quarter of all New Jerseyans say gun control is the most important issue facing the country today, while another 50 percent say it is one of a few very important issues. Only 5 percent say it is unimportant.

“Prior to the latest shooting, gun control wasn’t even on the national agenda,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “Now three-quarters of New Jerseyans consider it a very important issue. Concern has skyrocketed among non-gun owners, but has increased even more among those in gun-owning households. But it is worth noting that New Jersey is much more pro-gun control than the nation, where a recent Pew poll showed 49 percent favor controlling gun ownership while 42 percent prefer protecting gun owner rights.”

Among the 20 percent with a gun owner in their household, six in ten are very concerned about gun violence, up from 43 percent from August; among non-gun-owning households, 82 percent are very concerned, up 12 points. And in another sharp increase following the latest shooting, 57 percent of those in gun-owning households now think controlling gun ownership is more important than protecting gun owner rights, up from 41 percent in August. More than 60 percent of those with gun owners in the household say gun control is a very important or the most important issue today, as do 81 percent of others.

Results are from a poll of 663 adults conducted statewide among landline and cell phone households Dec. 19 and 20 with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.

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