> says in the US 44% support the status quo and 11% support less strict [gun] laws.
A solid majority don't know what the laws are so "support the status quo" is interesting.
They tend to believe that the laws are less restrictive than they actually are. When you quiz them about specific "proposals", which happen to be current law, you find that those proposals are significantly less popular than the status quo.
Two examples of this are wrt concealed carry and automatic weapons. On the former, very few people think that police should have complete and arbitrary discretion wrt CCW, yet they do in the jurisdictions with the majority of the population.
> assuming the US Citizens on HN reflect public opinion
They're not a very acccurate reflection. For one, their demographics are very different.
> then that would reduce support on HN even further than I estimate above.
Reduce support for what? My claim suggests that the more folks know about US gun laws, the less they support current law and the more they support less strict laws, and I didn't even address the folks who want more strict gun laws. (When you ask them the same questions, many of them have the same reaction as "status quo" folk. They want "more", but they don't want things as strict as they already are.)
BTW - That's why the whole "assault weapon" campaign is political genius. The guns in question are "military" in the same sense that the cars that you can get at a Chevy dealer are race cars (that is, not at all). It plays on ignorance.
Then again, a large number of folks think that "tactical vest" means "bullet proof". (It means "lots of pockets"; think fishing vest, only black or camo fabric.)
Agreed. I don't mind saying I'm wrong on that; I admit I have a typical American bias. I would say that HN is probably much more libertarian-leaning than the average US citizen but probably not enough to warrant my claim of a majority (of HN users). Can I claim my point is still valid though (re: guns as tools)? :-)