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The Daily Show asked NRA members if they support gun control — to surprising results

If any single place in America opposed gun control last week, it should have been Louisville, Kentucky. That's where the National Rifle Association (NRA) held its big national meeting on guns and firearm policy this May.

But when The Daily Show sent Desi Lydic to talk to NRA members and get their views, she heard some surprising answers — specifically about universal background checks, which America doesn't have nationwide due to all the loopholes in federal laws.

She asked, "So what kind of limitations should we have on guns?" One man responded, "Universal background checks. You know, paperwork on fully automatics." As for whether he'd call that gun control, he said, "I'd call it common sense."

She tried again — with an older NRA member who said that "there's no reason to regulate anything": "Do you support background checks?" He said, "Certainly." She pushed, "For everybody?" He said, "Everybody." When asked if he'd consider it gun control, he said no.

The results might seem surprising, given some of the fiery rhetoric about guns invoked by the NRA (such as Charlton Heston's dramatic "from my cold, dead hands" speech). But this really isn't Lydic or The Daily Show cherry-picking certain members of the NRA to make a surprising point. According to a May 2012 survey, 82 percent of gun owners and 74 percent of current and former NRA members support universal background checks. Another nationwide poll of gun owners and NRA members from November 2015 found similar levels of support for universal background checks.

So while the rhetoric often gets heated on both sides of the gun control debate, there really is some "common sense" ground that both sides seem to agree on.


Watch: America's gun problem, explained in 18 charts