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But attitudes about gun violence differ widely by race, ethnicity, party affiliation and community, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.
About half of Americans think gun violence is a “very big problem” across the United States, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. The only issue rated as a larger concern is health care affordability.
Attitudes about gun violence differ widely by race, ethnicity, party affiliation and community, according to the analysis. About 80% of Black adults surveyed say gun violence is a very big problem, while 58% of Hispanics and 39% of Whites view gun violence the same way.
Also, Democrats and left-leaning independents are far more likely than Republicans and conservative-leaning voters to see gun violence as a major issue (73% versus 18%).
The number of Americans in favor of stricter gun laws has declined in recent years, according to a 2021 Pew survey. In September 2019, 60% of survey takers said they wanted tougher gun laws. When analyzed by political party, 82% of Democrats said tougher laws were needed, while only 20% of Republicans said the same.
Debates over the nation’s gun laws often follow mass shootings, and Americans are divided over whether restricting legal gun ownership will lessen these tragic events. Pew research shows that about half of adults think there would be fewer mass shootings if guns were legally harder to obtain, while 42% say there would be no difference.
Other gun violence polls offer similar results based on race and political affiliation, but there is general consensus on certain approaches. For example, about 90% of those surveyed by Quinnipiac University earlier this year approved of firearm background checks. And 74% approved of “red flag” laws, which permit police or family members to petition a court to order temporary removal of firearms from a person who may be a danger to others or themselves.
A bipartisan group of more than 150 mayors is backing two congressional bills that would strengthen background checks—proposals Biden urged Congress to adopt.
One bill would stop gun dealers from transferring firearms to customers if background checks are not completed within three days. The National Rifle Association has defended the three-day rule, saying it ensures people are not arbitrarily denied their Second Amendment rights. The NRA also is pushing back against universal background checks, arguing that they penalize legal gun owners.
For more information about the Pew analysis click here.
Jean Dimeo is managing editor of Route Fifty.