Monday, June 5, 2023

Support for gun rights has ended after nearly a decade of mass shootings, polls show

Six in 10 Americans think controlling gun violence is more important than protecting gun rights, a significant increase evident in the latest PBS Newshour/NPR/Marist poll over the past decade, as the entire US As the shootings continue and the midterm election approaches, seven in 10 people say they are more likely to vote in November after mass shootings at a school in Uvalde, Texas, and a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, last month. Chances are.

Nearly a decade ago, four months after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, 49 percent of Americans said they preferred controlling gun violence. In the latest poll, in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that number rose to 59 percent, including 92 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents. Support for prioritizing gun rights fell to 35 percent, but remained high among Republicans — 70 percent — and 56 percent of gun owners.

“Without question, we are more focused on the possibility that we can actually do something about firearms violence than we have seen in a long time,” said Dr. Garen Wintmute, who directs a violence prevention research program at the university. California, Davis K.

Megan McGrew/PBS NewsHour. chart by

Those political divisions may be eroded under the brutal repetition of gun violence in this country. During the coronavirus pandemic, firearm deaths – including homicides, suicides and accidental deaths – have risen to historic levels. According to federal data that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in May, firearm deaths increased 35 percent from 2019 to 2020, and firearms contributed to eight out of 10 murders nationwide. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 250 mass shootings so far this year, which are defined as incidents in which four or more people have been injured or killed – on average, more than one per day. In the two decades since the Columbine School massacre of 1999, this uniquely American tragedy has built its own political theater. The initial shock and grief give way to angry calls for guns, mental health aid or securing public spaces, which usually fade in Congress if they manage to reach those hallowed halls.

It follows the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a lone gunman killed 20 children and six teachers and staff. Congress initially rallied behind proposals to strengthen background checks, but ultimately did nothing.

Since the numerous high-profile shootings, efforts to get legislation through Congress have failed. But solutions do exist, said Cassandra Crifasi, who directs research and policy at the Center for Gun Violence Solutions at Johns Hopkins University. States, including California and Florida, have taken action to ban guns to promote public safety, passing hundreds of laws over the past decade. This includes so-called “red flag laws” that ask law enforcement or family members to ask a judge to temporarily remove guns from anyone who may pose a danger to themselves or others. Versions of this law exist in nineteen states with the District of Columbia.

In this latest poll, nearly three-quarters of voters would vote behind a Congressional candidate who would work to enact a red flag law. This includes six in 10 Republicans and gun owners, as well as nearly half of all Trump 2020 voters, nearly all Democrats and most independents. Research shows that this measure makes a difference, Krifasi said.

Nearly all registered voters – 86 percent – said they would support a congressional candidate that supports more money for mental health screening and treatment. That support remained regardless of politics, age, race, income, education, geography or gun ownership.

Would you vote for table site-2

Megan McGrew/PBS NewsHour. chart by

Fifty-six percent of registered voters said they would like to see a ban on the sale of semi-automatic assault guns, including the AR-15, which was the style of weapon used in both Uvalde and Buffalo. While nearly all Democrats supported such a move, independents were divided while a third of Republicans supported the measure.

After the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, more than 250 gun enthusiasts, including some GOP donors, signed an open letter calling on elected officials in Congress to pass red flag legislation and procure guns. was requested to increase the background checks for Tribune reported. In this latest poll, 81 percent of U.S. registered voters, including nearly all Democrats and nearly three-quarters of Republicans, independents and gun owners, said they would vote for a candidate for Congress who passed background checks for gun purchases at gun shows. is required. or other private sales.

Five months before this year’s midterm elections, voters say they are more likely to vote after last month’s mass shootings.

Overall, nearly seven in 10 Americans said the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, made them more likely to vote. Some of the greatest excitement appeared among Gen Z and Millennial voters, non-white voters, college-graduating white men, small-town residents, and Democrats. Another two in 10 said those firings did not matter how likely they were to vote. White men who had not graduated from college and those in rural communities were more likely to say that shootings would not affect their voting behavior.

Generation bar site more likely to vote

Megan McGrew/PBS NewsHour. chart by

Nearly two-thirds of Gen Z and Millennial voters, many of whom have participated in active shooter exercises in their classrooms or went to school under threat of mass shootings for all or most of their educational careers, say they consider gun violence want to control. Youth movements that emerged after Parkland, particularly the March for Our Lives and Students’ Demand Action, as well as increasing research and political interest to reduce mass shootings, suicides, homicides and domestic violence, have led to a new type of single-issue Voters are included. On controlling gun violence, Krifasi said.

Lawmakers have been heard engaging in several sets of bipartisan talks since the shooting of Uvalde’s Craft Law, which would garner substantial support from both sides of the aisle. The House partially passed the “Protect Our Children Act” on Wednesday. 223-204, a broad range of reforms that include raising the age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon (some research suggests that a person must be 21 or older to purchase a gun, including suicides). saw an 8 percent drop in young people) and banning high-capacity magazines, among other measures. It is not expected to pass the Senate, where lawmakers are trying to develop their own more narrow gun violence package focused on increasing background checks, mental health programs and school safety by the end of the week.

Looking mid-term, timing and urgency will play a big role in determining how much gun reform affects people’s votes, said Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster with Public Opinion Strategies. The constant churn of politics and news can mean that what seems urgent now will be swiftly replaced by the next major tragedy or scandal.

“In this current political climate, five months is a lifetime,” Blizzard said. “The challenge here is that it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.”

While voters may be united on these issues, especially after the mass shootings, they are also forced by a host of issues – the economy, inflation and continuing concerns over COVID – when they are asked to choose which one. candidate to support, Amy Walter told Cook Political Report.

“If your choice is to vote for a candidate with whom you agree on guns, but then disagree on other issues, you have to make a choice,” Walter said.

People whose communities are mourning the lives of those killed in gun violence in recent times told lawmakers this week that action – not words – is what is needed now.

“Your thoughts and prayers are not enough,” said Janetta Everhart, who testified before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday about her son, Zaire Goodman, who was shot during the mass shooting inside a Topps grocery store in Buffalo, New York. Went. Goodman survived the shooting but was hospitalized. “We want you to stand by us in the days, weeks, months and years to come, ready to go to work and help us create the change this country desperately needs.”

Between May 31 and June 6, PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist interviewed 1063 American adults for a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points, as well as 977 registered voters for a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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