An Obama Gun Control Executive Order Could Sink the President's Favorability

Could Obama be wasting valuable political capital by issuing an executive order on gun control? 

If Obama acts unilaterally on gun control, the event will likely fire-up conservatives and pro-gun advocates, calling out the president for failing to use the legislative process. 
The conservative Drudge Report compared executive action to dictators Hitler and Stalin. 
The backlash could be immense and could cost Obama leverage in future political battles, most notably the coming debt ceiling fight next month.
Obama has often pulled the "popular mandate" card, saying that his re-election in November proves the American people are behind him ... almost unconditionally. 
But what do the American people really think about the gun debate. Well, for starters, just 4% of Americans identify guns as the nation's top problem, per Gallup.
Based on that alone, Obama may think twice about pushing popcorn policies that will only splash onto headlines and divide Americans. Any executive action could even hurt his favorability rating, and by extension his ability to negotiate in the future.
So more polls (it's safe to say America is all over the place):

Pew55% favor a ban on assault-style weapons (69% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans)... By a two-to-one margin (64%-32%), most favor putting armed security guards and police in more schools. But when it comes to more teachers and school officials having guns, most are opposed (40% favor vs. 57% oppose). 

ABC/Washington Post52% say the Newtown shootings made them more supportive of gun control ... 58% support renewing the assault-weapons ban. 

Gallup38% of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation's gun laws and want them strengthened. This is up from 25% who held this set of views a year ago, and is the highest since 2001. Still, more Americans are either satisfied with current gun laws, 43%, or think they should be loosened, 5%.

Portland Press Herald of Maine: 55% have a gun on their property ... 79% of Mainers support some restrictions on owning guns, and 61% support banning high-capacity ammunition clips that can hold more than 10 bullets. 51% support banning semi-automatic guns. Notably, independent Sen. Angus King expressed coolness yesterday to an assault weapons ban: "The biggest issue to me is the size of the magazines," he said on CBS. "That's sort of the common thread that connects a lot of these massacres."

Fairleigh Dickinson University of New Jersey: 61% support reducing violence in movies and video games. 45% are in favor of placing armed guards in public places. 

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