Associated Press
September 20, 2013

A growing number of Americans are questioning the government’s protection of the constitutional right to bear arms, according to a poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. A mass shooting this week at a military base in Washington restarted the debate over tightening national gun control laws.

Asked how the government is doing on protecting a variety of rights and freedoms spelled out in the Bill of Rights and federal law, Americans pointed to slippage almost everywhere but most dramatically on guns and voting rights.

Overall, 44 percent of Americans think the federal government is doing a good job of protecting the right to keep and bear arms, down from 57 percent two years earlier. Opposition Republicans and independents were far more likely than President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats to give the government poor reviews on that point.

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