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.
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First, it was Sean Spicer. Then Reince Priebus. Now, presidential adviser Steve Bannon, perhaps the administration's biggest lightning rod for criticism, is out. “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.” That's not to say the parting of ways isn't controversial. Bannon says he submitted his resignation on Aug. 7, but earlier today, "the president had told senior aides that he had decided to remove Mr. Bannon."
"The Trump administration has ended Operation Choke Point, the anti-fraud initiative started under the Obama administration that many Republicans argued was used to target gun retailers and other businesses that Democrats found objectionable. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told GOP representatives in a Wednesday letter that the long-running program had ended, bringing a conclusion to a chapter in the Obama years that long provoked and angered conservatives who saw Choke Point as an extra-legal crackdown on politically disfavored groups."
"Liberal groups are raising questions about a speaking appearance Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch plans to make next month at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Gorsuch is scheduled to headline a luncheon celebrating the 50th anniversary of conservative group The Fund for American Studies on September 28, days before the next SCOTUS term begins October 2. Steve Slattery, a spokesman for The Fund for American Studies, said Gorsuch had nothing to do with venue choice, which was made long before the group asked Gorsuch to speak."
"The Trump administration has lost a handful of individuals serving in top cybersecurity roles across the federal government in recent weeks, even as it has struggled to fill high-ranking IT positions. The developments present hurdles for the new administration and speak to the longstanding challenge the federal government faces in competing with the private sector for top tech talent." Among those resigning is Richard Staropoli, "a former U.S. Secret Service agent who served as chief information officer (CIO) of the Department of Homeland Security for just three months," and Dave DeVries, the CIO at OPM. Separately, the White House announced today that President Trump has directed that United States Cyber Command be elevated to the status of a Unified Combatant Command focused on cyberspace operations.