The Pew Research Center reports that a majority (52%) of Americans favor gun rights over gun control (46%).
This is the first time since 1993 that a Pew Research Center poll has shown more Americans in favor of gun rights.
Why the change? A whopping 57% of Americans now believe that gun ownership protects people from being victims of crime. Only 38% say that gun ownership puts people's safety at risk.
The biggest shift on the issue has come from blacks. Two years ago, after the Newtown school shootings, only 29% of blacks thought guns protected people from being victims of crime. Now, 54% of blacks think guns protect from crime--a 25% increase. However, a majority of blacks still view gun control (60%) as a priority over gun rights (34%). (see table below)
The dramatic change in black attitude on guns protecting victims was mirrored in a more moderate manner among every major Pew grouping except "liberal democrats".
Here is Pews's list of "protect from being victims" view changes:
conservative Rep +16%
conservative/moderate Dem +8%
liberal Dem -3%
Gun control is still predominant for women, 18-49 year olds, blacks, Hispanics, college graduates, Democats, and urban dwellers.