Washington (AP) —The majority of adults in the United States have less frequent shootings when guns are difficult to obtain, and schools and other public places are safer than they were 20 years ago. I think it has dropped.
Still, the public’s attitude towards guns and gun policy is complex, and this issue is rarely seen by federal legislation. In more than 10 years.In the wake of Tuesday’s massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, TexasDemocratic governor and lawmakers are suing About gun restrictions.Reform meets Republican resistance Both parliament and state legislature are unlikely to move forward.
It’s not uncommon for Polling to show that there is growing support for regulation among the general public after the shootings, but the attitude towards gun control has been fairly stable overall over time. , John Roman, Senior Fellow of NORC at the University of Chicago, said.
By 2020, about half of voters in the presidential election said US gun control should be stricter. AP voting castAbout one-third says it should be left alone, while only one-tenth says it should be less rigorous.
What else do Americans think about gun law?
In March 2019, an AP-NORC poll showed that the majority (58%) of adults in the United States believe that mass shootings will be reduced. In the United States, if it was difficult to get a gun legally. According to polls, many specific measures to restrict access to guns and ammunition have also gained majority support.
In particular, there is widespread agreement on one measure to target the sale of personal guns for background checks.
Attitudes towards other gun policies vary widely from party to party. for example, New data from AP-NORC poll conducted in early May Shows that 51% of adults in the United States support a national ban on the sale of AR-15 rifles and similar semi-automatic weapons, and 32% oppose it. An additional 18% say they don’t have either opinion. Only 75% of Democrats and 27% of Republicans agreed.
37-year-old Erica Martinez, who lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, said she felt “fear” and “anger” after the massacre on Tuesday, and that the country clearly had gun problems. She said the law needs to be stricter and it should be harder for someone to get a gun.
“Shooting in these schools is now becoming more common, and there are too many innocent little lives lost because this 18-year-old kid was able to go buy a gun,” Martinez said. rice field. “I honestly and really think it could have been prevented.”
Gun ownership in the United States
According to a Pew Research Center study in April 2021, gun owners are far more likely to support increased hidden portability and shorter waiting times for legal gun purchases than owners without guns. It turned out to be expensive. Gun owners were much less likely to support the ban on large magazines and assault-type weapons.
According to a March poll by the University of Chicago’s NORC, 46% of adults in the United States live in homes with guns. According to NORC Roman, 5% bought guns for the first time during a pandemic, and gun owners tend to share policy preferences with long-term gun owners.
Federal data also show that gun sales have increased significantly. During the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The biggest reason someone buys a firearm is that they feel that the risk of the firearm is low,” Roman said. “If there is an event like COVID and people feel that the world is generally very dangerous, there will be a big spike in those who buy it.”
68-year-old conservative Mike Miller, who lives in Woodland Park, Colorado, said he owns a self-defense gun as well as hunting.
“I think it’s in our constitution, and I think we have the right to have our weapons,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a problem, like the shooting that just happened. I think it’s a bigger problem.”
Who is more motivated by this issue?
In Washington, efforts to pass gun limits (even background checks) were in vain and faced opposition from Republican lawmakers.
Roman suggests that those who own guns and oppose gun control are making a louder voice in the political process because of their personal interests in the matter. He said that those who want stricter laws have a strong opinion about the impact of guns on society, but they often lack that personal connection.
“Your own costs and benefits are always motivating and energizing. They produce a preference that is stronger than a kind of conceptual or theoretical preference,” he said.
After the shootings, people’s calls for restrictions tend to be louder, according to Roman, creating opportunities for gun control policies before they retreat again.
In an AP-NORC survey conducted shortly after a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, 24% of Americans (including 41% of Democrats) cited gun control as a priority in open-question questions. Was shown In the case of the 2022 government, it surged from just 5% in 2021 to 12% in 2020.
“There is a swift move towards some gun control and new gun laws, or this moment is over and next year we’ll be talking about something else,” he said.
Many Republicans have focused on mental health as an important factor in preventing mass shootings at school.
A 2019 AP-NORC poll showed that bullying and gun availability were considered most responsible for shooting at school. About half of Americans said they were both due to “big things.” In polls, there was a bipartisan agreement on bullying, but Democrats were far more likely to blame the availability of guns than Republicans.
44-year-old independent Derek Lavarnway, who lives in Chaumont, New York, said his main concern was mental health.
“I think there’s a balance between gun control and figuring out how to make people feel better about themselves and their lives,” he said. He said, “We must somehow find a way to a society that creates people who don’t do this.”