Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 10.52.53 AMRasmussen- Two-out-of-three Americans recognize that their constitutional right to own a gun was intended to ensure their freedom.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of American Adults think the purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that people are able to protect themselves from tyranny. Only 17% disagree, while another 18% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Not surprisingly, 72% of those with a gun in their family regard the Second Amendment as a protection against tyranny. However, even a majority (57%) of those without a gun in their home hold that view.

Many gun control advocates talk of the right to gun ownership as relating to hunting and recreational uses only.

While there are often wide partisan differences of opinion on gun-related issues, even 54% of Democrats agree with 75% of Republicans and 68% of those not affiliated with either major party that the right to own a gun is to ensure such freedom.

As Americans search for answers to the Newtown shooting, attitudes on gun ownership are “not likely to change in a nation where six out of 10 adults would rather live in a neighborhood where they can own a gun and most would feel safer if their children attended a school with an armed security guard.” Scott Rasmussen explains in his latest weekly newspaper column that if Congress is “not willing to go as far as the president wants on gun control, perhaps they… might take stronger action on mental health issues or increase the penalties for crimes committed with a gun.”

In the wake of last month’s horrific elementary school massacre in Connecticut, 51% favor stricter gun control laws. There is strong support for background checks of gun owners, but a plurality believes dealing with mental health issues will lead to more effective results. Fifty-nine percent (59%) think Congress and President Obama are likely to create stricter gun control laws.

READ MORE AT RASMUSSENREPORTS.COM