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Fox News poll: U.S. voters support gun control

April 9, 2018 GMT

The majority of registered voters said it’s more important to protect citizens from gun violence than it is to protect gun rights, according to a Fox News poll published Sunday.

The survey was released the day after thousands of people marched in Washington, D.C., to demand Congress enact gun control measures following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The Parkland students who organized Saturday’s event in the five weeks since the shooting estimated that more than 800,000 people marched on Pennsylvania Avenue. That total does not include crowds from 800 sister marches conducted across the country and around the world.

“Welcome to the revolution,” Parkland senior Cameron Kasky, 18, one of the march organizers said at a podium. “Politicians, either represent the people or get out. Stand for us or beware: The voters are coming.”

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Classmate Emma Gonzales read the names of the 17 victims, then stood in tear-stricken silence for 6 minutes a symbolic representation of how long the shooting lasted.

Crystal Bernard, 18, a senior at University Prep Science Math High School in Detroit, told The Washington Times she had organized a bus for 54 high schoolers from across Detroit to attend the march in the District.

“I was talking to some people and said, ‘I want to take some kids in a bus to D.C., what do I gotta do?’ So I filled out some forms, and the bus filled out in a day,” she said

“We came out here in solidarity with all these school shootings but also to say that in order to figure out a solution, all of us have to be at the table,” Ms. Bernard said. “And I think they did that beautifully at the event.”

In New York City, Denver, Los Angeles and other cities, the message at the different rallies was consistent, with demonstrators vowing to vote out lawmakers who refuse to take a stand now on gun control.

Many rallies had tables where volunteers helped those 18 or older register to vote while speakers detailed the policies they wanted and the impact gun violence has had on their lives.

The National Rifle Association’s Twitter feed was silent as the protests unfolded, in contrast to its reaction to the nationwide school walkouts against gun violence March 14, when it tweeted a photo of an assault rifle and the message “I’ll control my own guns, thank you.”

President Trump was in Florida for the weekend and did not weigh in via Twitter either.

White House spokesman Zach Parkinson said: “We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today.”

According to the Fox News poll, 53 percent of registered voters said it is more important to protect people from gun violence, while 40 percent said it’s more important to protect the right of citizens to own guns.

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Ninety-one percent of registered voters said they favor requiring criminal background checks for all gun purchases, including private sales and at gun shows.

Requiring mental health checks was favored by 84 percent of voters, and 72 percent said they support raising the minimum age to purchase all firearms to 21.

Though voters appeared to support gun control measures, very few believe Congress would enact any. Only 7 percent said it’s extremely likely Congress would pass gun legislation this year, while 43 percent said it wasn’t likely at all.

The nationwide survey questioned 1,041 registered voters March 18-21. It has a margin of error plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.