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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19941 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-June-19, 08:49

Where do we go from here? The citation from Heather Cox is very much worth reading. For example:

Quote

I’ve been thinking a lot since Thursday of Luttig’s clear-eyed view of the dangers we face in this country today, and of his willingness to cast aside old political loyalties to call them out in order to protect our democracy. They remind me of nothing so much as Abraham Lincoln’s description of the way northerners reacted to the 1854 passage of a law permitting the spread of enslavement into western lands from which it had previously been excluded. The passage of that law woke up Americans who had not been paying attention, and convinced them to work across old political lines to stop oligarchs from destroying democracy. Northerners were “thunderstruck and stunned; and we reeled and fell in utter confusion. But we rose each fighting, grasping whatever he could first reach—a scythe—a pitchfork—a chopping axe, or a butcher's cleaver” to push back against the oligarchic enslavers, Lincoln later said. Regardless of where they started politically, they stood up for democracy together. And while they came from different parties, he said, they were “still Americans; no less devoted to the continued Union and prosperity of the country than heretofore.”


"Americans who had not been paying attention" will always be a very important group. Many of us could think of ourselves as part of that group, to one degree or another. For example, I hope I am never required to pass an exam on what took place when during the hearings. Luttig's testimony is extremely important for us. "Regardless of where they started politically, they stood up for democracy together." is an extremely important historical quote.


One thing that I think could be useful Trump gave a speech before the assault on the Capitol speaking of the necessity to march on the Capitol to stop Pence from certifying the election. The mob was shouting to hang Mike Pence, and shouting that they were there are behalf of the president. Mike Pence, and I believe the family of Mike Pence, were in serious physical danger, and Trump knew of it. Anyone, anyone at all, can understand the connection between Trump's speech and the danger for Mike Pence. Trump eventually made a weak speech basically telling the mob they had done enough damage, at least for the moment, and they should leave. "Too little too late" is an understatement. Trump damn near got Pence killed. "Americans who had not been paying attention" can easily understand this, "regardless of where they started politically".


Trump never said "Hang Mike Pence" in exactly those words? OK, but people understand "Make him an offer he can't refuse".


At a basic level, we are speaking of straightforward stuff. Mike Pence is a hero. Luttig is a hero. They did the right thing, heroically so. Trump and his lackeys are scum. This truth does not depend on political affiliation. A person does not need to be a deep political thinker to see the truth of it.


My political thoughts are a mixture of conservative and liberal. I don't have to think about my political views to be very happy that Mike Pence was not killed, and very unhappy that it was a close call that he wasn't.
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#19942 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-June-20, 08:19

Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? (2012)

I didn't know psychopaths are estimated to make up 1 percent of the population. Seems like getting people in positions of responsibility in government, the health care industry and the gun industry to recognize that and say that is a huge part of rationally discussing and addressing the mass shooting problem and other problems that the criminal justice system has to contend with.
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#19943 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-June-20, 08:46

View PostChas_P, on 2022-June-18, 19:30, said:

Could you please give us a count of the mass shooters....Harris, Klebold, Lanza, Ramos, etc.....who were NRA members? Thank you in advance.

What does that have to do with it? This is like asking whether drunk drivers work for the liquor industry. You don't have to be a member to be highly influenced by the NRA's rhetoric or take advantage of the gun "freedoms" that they advocate.

#19944 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-June-20, 10:08

View Posty66, on 2022-June-20, 08:19, said:

Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? (2012)

I didn't know psychopaths are estimated to make up 1 percent of the population. Seems like getting people in positions of responsibility in government, the health care industry and the gun industry to recognize that and say that is a huge part of rationally discussing and addressing the mass shooting problem and other problems that the criminal justice system has to contend with.


An interesting article. As to "Then last spring, the psychologist treating Michael referred his parents to Dan Waschbusch, a researcher at Florida International University.", I found that Waschbusch is now at Penn State.
https://pennstate.pu...niel-waschbusch


The article speaks of 9-year-old Michael having temper tantrums and throwing things, and also speaks of another child who cut the tail off his cat, a little more each day, and another who pushed his sister into a swimming pool and watched her drown. These latter two cases are more like my idea of psychopathy, although perhaps Michael was gravitating in that direction. The NYT article was published in 2012, an update could be of interest.


Browsing a bit, it appears that psychologists think that reward for good behavior is more effective than punishment for bad behavior. Well, perhaps. My parents, at least my father, favored punishment. So when my first child was born I vowed to do no spanking. Well, I did keep it to a minimum. When my second child was born I said, ok, this time I'll get it right, no spanking at all. When she was 6 or so she was very defiant and I said, loudly, "Do you want a spanking?" She leaned forward with her hands on her hips and said "Yeah". I broke up in laughter so she didn't get her spanking.


It's all a tricky business. Psychologists mean well and sometimes they might even be useful. I know I have mentioned before that when I was in eighth grade I could not get my mother to stop bragging to the neighbors about my good grades so I set out to get bad grades and was pretty successful at it. Yep, it's tricky.
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#19945 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-20, 10:35

https://scitechdaily...-normal-people/

Quote



Neuroscientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), the University of Pennsylvania, and California State University have discovered a biological distinction between psychopaths and non-psychopaths. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, scientists discovered that the striatum, an area of the forebrain, was 10% bigger in psychopathic people compared to a control group of individuals with low or no psychopathic traits.


Although not the article I originally read, this confirms the first one that was written by someone who claimed similar deviancies in his brain structure were discovered, and his psychopathy created a situation where he had to watch others to learn appropriate responses to things like mourning a death. His conclusion was a psychopathic brain does not have to lead to improper lives but it requires training in acceptable responses.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19946 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-June-20, 10:50

from the article winstonm quoted:

Quote

The neuroscientists say that within their study of 120 individuals, they examined 12 females and observed, for the first time, that psychopathy was linked to enlarged striatum in females, just as in males. In human development, the striatum typically becomes smaller as a child matures, suggesting that psychopathy could be related to differences in how the brain develops.

Asst Prof Choy suggested “A better understanding of the striatum’s development is still needed. Many factors are likely involved in why one individual is more likely to have psychopathic traits than another individual. Psychopathy can be linked to a structural abnormality in the brain that may be developmental in nature. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that the environment can also have effects on the structure of the striatum.”

Prof Raine added “We have always known that psychopaths go to extreme lengths to seek out rewards, including criminal activities that involve property, sex, and drugs. We are now finding out a neurobiological underpinning of this impulsive and stimulating behavior in the form of enlargement to the striatum, a key brain area involved in rewards.

The scientists hope to carry out further research to find out the causes of the enlargement of the striatum in individuals with psychopathic traits.

Perhaps this is also relevant for understanding trolls.
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#19947 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-20, 12:39

The MAGgots are now calling for murder and war. I am not one to go to war with those whom I have disagreements; however, I am totally in favor of euthanizing mad dogs.

Quote

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, an ex-Navy SEAL and current Republican U.S. Senate candidate, released a wild video on Monday encouraging his supporters to go "RINO hunting" (referring to "Republicans in name only.") In the 38-second video posted on Twitter, Greitens is seen holding a long shotgun and surrounded by a group of men wearing tactical gear who then break down a house door and throw in a smoke bomb. Greitens is then seen walking into the empty room and asking his supporters to "join the MAGA crew" and get their "RINO hunting permits." The ex-governor says, "Today, we're going RINO hunting," adding, "The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19948 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-June-20, 20:48

Juliette Kayyem at The New Yorker (June 19) said:

https://www.theatlan...porters/661324/

Many sophisticated observers of the January 6 committee will judge its success by two key metrics: whether the panel refers former President Donald Trump for criminal investigation and, if so, whether Attorney General Merrick Garland actually proceeds. But committee members are doing another job at least as important as advising the Justice Department: They are giving an off-ramp to those who accepted Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen out from under him—and who might excuse or even support violence done in his name.

Democracies do not fail in a single moment; they gradually break down from within. The same can be said of violent movements. Since the Capitol riot, the United States has been waging what is essentially a counter-extremism effort against Trump and the forces that nearly toppled our democracy. Such movements grow by portraying themselves as successful and their leadership as exceptional. The committee hearings have shown Trump to be not only an insurrectionist and an inciter of violence, but also a desperate sore loser. Almost everyone around Trump was telling him that his public claims of election fraud were “bullshit,” as former Attorney General William Barr put it. The people who continue spreading that myth need to know that Trump is making a fool of them. The savviest of his advisers long ago headed for the exits, and the ones who haven’t are not to be believed.

Notably, most of the committee’s witnesses against the former president are or were members of Team Trump or the GOP. Look at them, the committee is saying—there is a way out. Trump, according to Representative Liz Cheney, the committee’s Republican vice chair, was advised by an “apparently inebriated” Rudy Giuliani. This description, based on the accounts of Trump-campaign figures, isn’t idle gossip, but is meant to humiliate Trump, make him seem like a puppet of the unhinged and reckless. Run away from that guy! Trump is also betrayed by his daughter Ivanka, who in videotaped testimony looks deflated and pale as she sides with the forces telling Trump to stop his madness. The implication is clear: If his own daughter isn’t with him, why should you be?

The former president’s critics may rightly ask why neither she nor Barr spoke up in the moment. But longtime Trump skeptics aren’t the committee’s target audience. The message to his remaining supporters is: Trump has peaked. His best days are behind him. You won’t be the first to take the off-ramp, but you don’t want to be the last.

Instead of subscribing to Trump’s stolen-election fantasies, Republicans can join Team Normal, the term used by the former campaign manager Bill Stepien to describe those who were not instigating violence. If these former Trump loyalists can reject the lies, the committee is effectively telling his current followers, then so can you. And by the way, there was no honor among Trump’s abettors; the committee has evidence, one of its two Republican members has said, that GOP politicians who may have been involved with coordinating the January 6 effort had sought pardons, leaving everybody else exposed to prosecution.

According to evidence aired Thursday, John Eastman—a Trump legal adviser who kept insisting that then–Vice President Mike Pence had the power to alter the Electoral College vote—presumptuously declared in an email after the riot, “I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works.” One of Trump’s White House lawyers testified that he’d told Eastman, “Get a great effing criminal-defense lawyer. You’re gonna need it.”

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#19949 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-21, 08:06

Being inundated by Republican primary ads here in Tulsa is like a parody of “A Clockwork Orange” and being forced to be a member of Tucker Carlson’s studio audience after being convicted of the old ultra-violence.
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#19950 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-June-21, 08:23

From the above:"Many sophisticated observers of the January 6 committee will judge its success by two key metrics: whether the panel refers former President Donald Trump for criminal investigation and, if so, whether Attorney General Merrick Garland actually proceeds. But committee members are doing another job at least as important as advising the Justice Department: They are giving an off-ramp to those who accepted Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen out from under him—and who might excuse or even support violence done in his name."


They, and we, should think carefully about this. So far, they are doing an excellent job of making it unmistakable clear what happened. That is a fine thing for an investigating committee to do. After it is absolutely clear what happened, I think the Attorney General will decide whether or not to bring criminal charges. It would be a mistake to have it become whether or not the Attorney General does what the committee recommends. The decision should be based on the Attorney General's assessment, after seeing what has been presented, of the legal case. If the planning that went into the insurrection, and the egging on of a violence-prone mob in a manner that clearly implied that Mark Pence had to be forcefully prevented from certifying the election is not seen as grounds for a fair number of indictments, then Congress needs to pass some important laws. I would be very surprised if no indictments followed from the hearings. Clearly there should be indictments.


What I am getting at: This should not become "Will the Attorney general do what the committee tells him to do or won't he?", it should be "The committee has done its job, now will the Attorney General do what clearly needs to be done, and if not why not?" It's a subtle difference, but I think it is important for it to go down the second path. Among other things, in matters like this, there are (so I understand it) strategic matters of just who gets indicted first and for what. Let the AG plan this out.
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#19951 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-21, 11:28

View Postkenberg, on 2022-June-21, 08:23, said:

From the above:"Many sophisticated observers of the January 6 committee will judge its success by two key metrics: whether the panel refers former President Donald Trump for criminal investigation and, if so, whether Attorney General Merrick Garland actually proceeds. But committee members are doing another job at least as important as advising the Justice Department: They are giving an off-ramp to those who accepted Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen out from under him—and who might excuse or even support violence done in his name."


They, and we, should think carefully about this. So far, they are doing an excellent job of making it unmistakable clear what happened. That is a fine thing for an investigating committee to do. After it is absolutely clear what happened, I think the Attorney General will decide whether or not to bring criminal charges. It would be a mistake to have it become whether or not the Attorney General does what the committee recommends. The decision should be based on the Attorney General's assessment, after seeing what has been presented, of the legal case. If the planning that went into the insurrection, and the egging on of a violence-prone mob in a manner that clearly implied that Mark Pence had to be forcefully prevented from certifying the election is not seen as grounds for a fair number of indictments, then Congress needs to pass some important laws. I would be very surprised if no indictments followed from the hearings. Clearly there should be indictments.


What I am getting at: This should not become "Will the Attorney general do what the committee tells him to do or won't he?", it should be "The committee has done its job, now will the Attorney General do what clearly needs to be done, and if not why not?" It's a subtle difference, but I think it is important for it to go down the second path. Among other things, in matters like this, there are (so I understand it) strategic matters of just who gets indicted first and for what. Let the AG plan this out.


I agree with one caveat: the DOJ must make a legal judgement as to charging without consideration to political consequences or damage to the country. There can be no greater damage than for the DOJ to assume the position that the office of President is above answering to the rule of law because of some nebulous future damage.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19952 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-21, 13:07

Oddly enough. what these Jan 6 hearings may be doing is resurrecting the Republican Party by divorcing itself from Trump in favor of democracy.
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#19953 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-June-21, 16:02

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-June-21, 13:07, said:

Oddly enough. what these Jan 6 hearings may be doing is resurrecting the Republican Party by divorcing itself from Trump in favor of democracy.

In poll after poll, about 70% of Republicans say they don’t think Joe Biden is the legitimate winner of the 2020 election.

Quote

Former President Donald Trump has made the “stolen” 2020 election the centerpiece of his post-White House political life. Virtually every statement he sends out invokes the false theme.

The polling shows it has been effective, not just with the crowd that stormed the Capitol on his behalf on Jan. 6, 2021, but with members of the Republican Party almost a year and a half later.

The multiple recounts and audits that confirmed Joe Biden’s win have changed little. With remarkable consistency, a scant one-quarter of Republican voters tell pollsters that Biden won legitimately. That was the view they shared in the spring of 2021, and the fraction remains about the same today.

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#19954 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-21, 16:36

View Postjohnu, on 2022-June-21, 16:02, said:



You have noticed that these hearings have been pointed directly at those who deny or have doubts about the legitimacy of the election?

I’ve pretty much lost confidence in polling as a legitimate source of reliable information.
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#19955 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-June-21, 17:02

70% of Americans don't know that Georgia is a country near Russia.
100% of Americans can't spell English words correctly.
In the mind of a person asked if their favourite team "legitimately" lost any competition the answer is "no - we wuz robbed".

Ask them if they can spell "legitimately" and see how you go.

The percentage of bonkers is the same all over the world.
But there are so many Americans that the total amount of nuttiness is amplified.
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#19956 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-June-22, 06:44

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

https://www.bloomber...author_18529680

What explained the devastating weight of Tuesday’s hearing of the House Jan. 6 committee? The testimony barely mentioned the attack on the Capitol or other events of that day.

Instead we heard, in new and terrifying detail, about Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Republican officials in state after state to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. By expanding the scope of the events covered, the panel heard from witnesses who recounted just how massive and systematic the efforts by Trump and his allies really were — and how violence and threats of violence played a central role in it.

We still do not have firm evidence tying Trump specifically to organized violent outbreaks, including the Capitol attack. But we’ve now seen enough that it’s clear Trump either knew his words would put people in danger or he should have known. And the same goes for those around him.

Those of us who have followed this story closely already knew the broad outlines and even many details in the stories of Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers; Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger; Gabriel Sterling of the Georgia secretary of state’s office, and Georgia election worker Shaye Moss.

But Tuesday’s airing of their accounts, one after another, was just brutal. Bowers endured Saturday protests outside his house, with armed Trump fans calling him (among other things) a pedophile. Sterling described how he was moved to give his forceful public statement denouncing efforts to overturn the election after seeing a staffer in his office overwhelmed by vicious, personal attacks on social media. Moss and her mother were so intimidated by the president’s attacks and those of his followers that they basically shut down their lives.

In other words, the committee artfully made the case that the violence of Jan. 6 was only a continuation of violent efforts to bully everyone who stood in the way of the president and his desire to stay in office, regardless of the facts and the law.

We already knew that the fraud accusations that Trump and his allies made were investigated and found to be false or frivolous, based on obvious fictions or misunderstandings of normal procedures. And that, despite this, Trump ramped up pressure on Republican officeholders in states that Joe Biden had won.

We knew about the scheme, probably criminal and certainly outside of the law and the Constitution, to submit slates of false electors in states that Trump had lost. And about his call to Raffensperger, in which the then president of the United States begged, cajoled and threatened him to “find” the votes needed to reverse the Georgia outcome — this figured prominently in Trump’s second impeachment and Senate trial.

There was some new detail. For example, Rudy Giuliani told Bowers that “we've got lots of theories — we just don't have any evidence.” I don’t think that was previously reported, and it helped make the committee’s point that the conspirators were well aware that Trump had lost the election.

And we knew that violence and threats of violence had been present throughout the post-election period and were a regular feature of Trump’s rallies from the start of his 2016 run for president.

In contrast to Trump and his allies, Tuesday’s witnesses stood out as patriots. Committee Chair Bennie Thompson in his opening remarks thanked the various elected officials, bureaucrats and election workers who have testified “for their service”: The US is defended, after all, by its democratic institutions — defined by the men and women who do their jobs faithfully or not — even more than by its military might, and has been since 1776. It was inspiring to watching Bowers, Raffensperger, Sterling and Moss stand up for democracy, despite the costs that they have had to endure — especially when you consider how few Republicans have been willing to rally to their side.

It’s not yet clear how strong the legal case against Trump will be. But I agree with the political scientist Alex Garlick, who said that “the more we learn from the January 6 committee, the more it becomes obvious that the Senate's inability to convict Trump in February 2021 was a failure of historical proportions.”

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#19957 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-June-22, 09:49

The failure of Biblical proportions (think Sodom and Gomorrah) is to continue to support Trump and his allies.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19958 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-June-23, 15:18

Well worth a read

(Its long)

https://www.brooking...trump-on-trial/
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#19959 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-June-23, 19:00

View Postbarmar, on 2022-June-20, 08:46, said:

What does that have to do with it? This is like asking whether drunk drivers work for the liquor industry. You don't have to be a member to be highly influenced by the NRA's rhetoric or take advantage of the gun "freedoms" that they advocate.

Here, ladies and gentlemen, you have a perfect example of pure, unadulterated horseshit. No one claims that drunken drivers have a constitutional right to drive drunk. But (I'm pretty sure) a majority of Americans share the view that they have a constitutional right to own firearms. Don't damn the law-obiding. Damn (and punish) the criminals.

#19960 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-June-23, 19:12

Most Americans do not think the laws surrounding gun ownership are restrictive enough.

Pew research said:

Roughly half of Americans (53%) favor stricter gun laws, a decline since 2019, according to the Center's April 2021 survey. Smaller shares say these laws are about right (32%) or should be less strict (14%). The share of Americans who say gun laws should be stricter has decreased from 60% in September 2019. Current opinions are in line with what they were in March 2017.

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