A new poll released today by Quinnipiac University shows that 52% of Americans support stricter gun control laws, an expected outcome after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting sparked a nationwide discussion on gun safety. As for the particulars, 56% support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, 56% support a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, and 92% support requiring background checks for all gun buyers. All of this bodes well for the Obama Administration.
Dig deeper into the data, however, and an odd picture emerges: gun-toting Americans are not aware that they are closer to Barack Obama than the NRA on the gun control debate. In American gun households, 52% support a ban on assault weapons and 91% support background checks for all gun buyers. A sizable minority, 45%, also support a ban on the sale of high capacity magazines. All of these positions NRA chief Wayne LaPierre has rebuffed in the gun control debate over the past month, yet 62% of Americans in these gun households believe that the NRA better reflects their views on guns than President Obama.
If the Quinnipiac poll is accurate, Obama has not won the public debate. The majority of gun owners may agree with the President on what needs to be done, but they don’t know it, choose not to trust him, or believe that he will take their guns away. Like a side mirror, gun owners should read the fine print: Obama’s views are closer than they appear.
Click here to see TIME‘s January gun control poll.