Politicians, gun control activists, and media personalities have attacked the National Rifle Association in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., but a majority of the American people have a favorable view of the pro-gun organization.
“Fifty-four percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the National Rifle Association, while 38% have an unfavorable opinion,” Gallup says in reporting the results of a poll taken before Christmas, but after the Sandy Hook shooting. Republicans and Democrats report widely divergent views of the NRA, but 54 percent of independents have a favorable opinion of the NRA — just like the nation as a whole.
The NRA’s image thus seems fairly resilient, as the poll shows they retain their support despite negative media attention. CNN’s Piers Morgan, for instance, tweeted as he watched Meet the Press that he was enjoying “Watching @davidgregory expose [NRA head] Wayne Lapierre for what he is – a dangerous, dim-witted, deluded menace to American safety.”
The percentage of Americans with a very favorable view of the NRA (21 percent) is higher than it has ever been since 1993 (when it was 22 percent), before then-President Clinton signed an assault weapons ban.