Gun control ‘extremely important’ to voters for president

President Barack Obama on Friday delivered a eulogy for Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney, a victim of the mass shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. (Photo: New York Times)

President Barack Obama on Friday delivered a eulogy for Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney, a victim of the mass shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. (Photo: New York Times)

As public interest in gun control policy increases, America’s approval of how the president has handled the issue is declining.

A majority of voters, 59 percent, disapprove of how President Barack Obama has handled what he called his greatest frustration in failing to pass common sense gun safety laws, according to the results of CNN/ORC poll.    

His remarks came a month after a gunman killed nine churchgoers in South Carolina and only hours before a shooter opened fire in a movie theater in Louisiana killing two people and injuring nine others.

While only 35 percent of voters approve of the president’s work, there’s been an increase in interest in the topic of gun control from 22 percent in 2011 to 42 percent currently.

It seems the president’s frustrations run concurrent to public opinion among liberals, some 63 percent of whom in June favored the president’s handling of gun control policy, compared to 53 percent as of recent polling.

The drops in approval have been shorter among moderates and conservatives, who during the same period saw modest declines of 44 to 41 percent and 23 to 19 percent, respectively.             

Polling data revealed that 49 percent of voters thought current gun laws were about right and 41 percent believed it was too easy for people to buy guns. Some 56 percent of voters in 2013 thought current laws made gun buying too easy and 40 percent thought they were about right.      

When asked whether they thought more comprehensive background checks would prevent the mentally ill from buying guns, a majority of voters, 31 percent, said they thought it was somewhat likely.

Some 35 percent also said they thought it was not at all likely that similar checks would prevent convicted criminals from buying guns. When asked whether background checks would make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens without mental health problems to buy guns, 29 percent said they thought it was somewhat likely and 28 percent said it was not likely at all.