According to ABC News/Washington Post poll results released Wednesday, a majority of Americans now oppose banning so-called “assault weapons”—a first in more than 20 years of ABC/Post polling. From the peak of 80 percent in 1994 and down 11 percentage points from 2013, of those surveyed, only 45 percent were in favor of a Bill Clinton-style ban. The poll also revealed that over three-quarters of Americans have doubts that the authorities can prevent “lone wolf” terrorist attacks carried out by individuals acting alone.
These findings denote a shift away from positions touted by Barack Obama and others in response to the recent terror attack in San Bernardino, which reignited the debate over gun control or the effectiveness in civilian firearm ownership to prevent violence. When asked which is the better reaction to terrorism, 47 percent say encouraging more people to carry guns legally.