The Gender Gap on Gun Control

National Journal
Peter Bell
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Peter Bell
Sept. 27, 2013, 12:10 p.m.

A ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans say that a ban on as­sault weapons would sig­ni­fic­antly re­duce mass shoot­ings, but be­neath those find­ings lurks a huge gender gap, one that rivals the di­vide between Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans on the is­sue, ac­cord­ing to the latest United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll.

Wo­men are far more likely than men to say that mass shoot­ings could be re­duced if there were a ban on as­sault weapons, such as the Bush­mas­ter AR-15 rifle that Adam Lanza used to kill 20 chil­dren and six adults at Sandy Hook Ele­ment­ary school last Decem­ber. Al­most three-quar­ters of wo­men say an as­sault-weapons ban would be ef­fect­ive, com­pared with 44 per­cent of men. A ma­jor­ity of men, 54 per­cent, say such a ban wouldn’t have a ser­i­ous im­pact on re­du­cing mass shoot­ings.

Like the na­tion as a whole, opin­ion on the mat­ter among Re­pub­lic­ans is also riv­en by a gender gap. Re­pub­lic­ans in gen­er­al do not think an as­sault-weapons ban would be an ef­fect­ive way to cut down on mass shoot­ings; only 42 per­cent say it would re­duce them. But that skep­ti­cism is quartered largely among Re­pub­lic­an men. While less than a third (29 per­cent) of GOP men and GOP-lean­ing men say an as­sault ban would be ef­fect­ive, a ma­jor­ity of Re­pub­lic­an wo­men and Re­pub­lic­an-lean­ing wo­men (57 per­cent) say a ban would re­duce mass shoot­ings.

The gender gap is less pro­nounced among Demo­crats, who over­whelm­ingly (72 per­cent) say an as­sault ban would re­duce shoot­ings. But it is still there: Demo­crat­ic wo­men and wo­men who lean to­ward the Demo­crats are more likely than their male coun­ter­parts to say that an as­sault-weapons ban would re­duce shoot­ings, by 79 per­cent to 66 per­cent.

What We're Following See More »
Howard Dean Pulls out of DNC Race
2 hours ago

Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chair, announced he's pulling out of the running to regain the chairman's post. Dean "announced in a pre-recorded video to a conference of state Democratic chairs that he would step aside to allow for a new face to lead the party as it seeks to rebuild."

Washington Monument Closed until 2019
4 hours ago

"Once again, businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein has come through for the National Park Service. This time, he's pledged funding needed to modernize the Washington Monument's elevator-- but the monument will remain closed until 2019 while repairs and improvements are underway. Rubenstein's donation of between $2-3 million, announced Friday, will correct those ongoing elevator issues, which have shuttered the monument since August 17."

By a Big Margin, House Passes Defense Bill
7 hours ago

The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."

Michigan Attorney General Sues to End Recount
8 hours ago

Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to halt the recount of the state's voting results. The recount was elected by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Schuette says the recount shouldn't occur because Stein cited no evidence of voter fraud or tabulation error.

Walden to Chair Energy and Commerce Committee
9 hours ago

"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.