Have American attitudes towards guns changed as a result of shootings such as the one at Umpqua Community College?

When it comes to buying guns the answer might be yes. According to Gallup, “Fifty-five percent of Americans say they want laws covering the sale of firearms to be stricter than they are now, a distinct rise of eight percentage points from 2014.”

But when asked if handgun ownership should be banned, Americans overwhelmingly said no. In fact, only a quarter of Americans believe that handguns should be banned. In 1959, however, 60% of Americans thought they should be banned.

What do you think accounts for such a dramatic change since 1959? Why has the support for keeping handguns legal steadily increased?

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