Louisiana, including Acadiana, remains conservative in its views on Confederate monuments, gun rights and other social and cultural issues, according to results of the 2016 Louisiana Survey.
The annual survey, a project of the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication, polled 1,001 Louisiana residents by telephone in February.
Michael Henderson, research director of the Public Policy Research Lab at LSU, released some of the survey results Monday at the Acadiana Press Club's monthly forum in Lafayette.\
According to the survey, 73 percent of those polled said they oppose removing Confederate monuments from public places. Twenty percent favor removing the statues.
Results varied by political party. Ninety-two percent of Republicans oppose removing Confederate monuments compared with 54 percent of Democrats.In Southwest Louisiana, a majority said they oppose removing Confederate statues. In every region of the state except New Orleans, more than 72 percent of respondents said Confederate monuments should not be removed. In the New Orleans area, 57 percent want the monuments to stay compared with 35 percent who want them removed.
The removal of Confederate monuments has become a hot issue in some Louisiana communities, including New Orleans and Lafayette. In February, several residents asked the Lafayette City-Parish Council to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Alfred Mouton from city property on Jefferson Street. Another contingent strongly opposed removing the statue. The council took no action.
Gun control is a hot topic across the country in the wake of multiple mass shootings. The issue hit home in July when a lone gunman opened fire in a Lafayette movie theater, killing two women and injuring nine before turning the gun on himself.
Statewide, 55 percent of those surveyed said they favor stricter restrictions on access to guns, compared with 43 percent who oppose such restrictions, Henderson said.
Assault weapons are a different story. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said they oppose a statewide ban on assault weapons, compared with 36 percent who favor a ban.
Some 40 bills were filed by the Louisiana Legislature this session to change gun policies, Henderson said. Last week, a committee rejected a bill that would have abolished the need for a concealed-carry permit.
Read more survey results at: http://pprllsu.com/projects/