Support for gun rights is higher than it’s been in decades, according to the latest data from the Pew Research Center that signals a stunning turnaround in how Americans feel about the issue just two years after the Newtown school shooting.
Pew found that 52 percent of Americans say Second Amendment rights are more important than gun control — up 7 percentage points from just after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 schoolchildren and six faculty dead.
That’s the highest approval rating in two decades, and it’s being driven in part by changing attitudes among black Americans, who are increasingly likely to view guns as good for public safety.
Pew found 54 percent of blacks now say firearms protect people from being victims of crimes, compared to 41 percent who say they are a public safety risk. Just two years ago, only 29 percent of blacks said guns were a public safety boon.
“Over the past two years, blacks’ views on this measure have changed dramatically,” Pew researchers said.