David Sherfinski
April 26, 2013

Polling suggests many voters viewed last week’s Senate gun votes through the lens of Second Amendment rights — findings that show why gun control advocates fell short in their bid to expand background checks on firearms sales despite overwhelming public support.

A Pew Research Center-Washington Post poll found that 39 percent were “happy” or “relieved” that the gun bill failed, while 47 percent were “disappointed” or “angry.” Of those who followed the debate closely, the reaction essentially was split, with 47 percent reacting positively and 48 percent negatively.

When asked just about expanding background checks — the issue at stake in last week’s key gun decision — voters’ support was overwhelming. The disconnect between the specific issue and broader views on Second Amendment rights helps explain how gun control proponents fell short.

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