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SURVEY: Will Gun Legislation Prevent Mass Shootings?

September 25, 2018, 8:34 AM HST (Updated September 25, 2018, 8:34 AM)
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A study conducted by global market research survey panel PrizeRebel.com reveals that most Americans support tougher restrictions on gun ownership but do not believe that further gun control legislation will prevent mass shootings.

Key findings show that:

  • Most Americans (88%), regardless of age or region, supported more extensive background checks and tougher restrictions on gun ownership.
  • 86% of respondents believe that civilians should be able to own guns.
  • Contrastingly, 62% of respondents do not believe further gun control will reduce the occurrence of mass shootings.

These findings reveal that a majority of Americans are supportive of gun control legislation but are fairly pessimistic about its actual effectiveness.

In the last 10 years, America has seen 58 mass shootings, resulting in 488 fatalities and 955 injured—a staggering 200% increase from the 25 years prior. These have stirred up intense debates and rhetoric regarding gun control and what needs to be done to stop this violent trend.

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But with all this talk about gun control, what laws to implement, who’s right who’s wrong—what is the real sentiment of the American people on all of this? Will any of it make a difference? The simple answer: maybe.

This is what PrizeRebel.com found when the online survey site conducted its own study with its survey panelist members.

The study surveyed 1,050 people, aged 18 to 64 living across the US: 262 respondents from each the northeast and midwest region, and 263 respondents from each the west and south region.

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Respondents were asked four simple questions:

  1. Should background checks be more extensive?
  2. Should there be more restrictions on who can buy a gun?
  3. Should civilians be allowed to own a gun?
  4. Will more gun control reduce the possibilities of more mass shootings?

These are the results:

The survey found that 88% of Americans favor more extensive background checks, regardless of identity. This was coupled together with 86% of Americans supporting tougher restrictions on gun ownership. However, while most Americans supported increased gun policy, there is an aversion to compromising individual values and rights to arms. Only 21% of Americans polled favored any removal of the right to arms.

What is most striking, is an even smaller majority of 62% believe that gun control will stop mass shootings. Even if Congress implemented more laws and restrictions on gun ownership and more background checks, two out of every five people will tell you do they not believe it will prevent more mass shootings. That’s almost half of the population.

The site also broke it down further by age and political affiliation and found that as the age groups get older, the more pessimistic about gun control making any changes they become and the more they believe civilians should own guns.

Furthermore, regardless of political identity, there is simply a general lack of optimism on gun control effects overall across the board. Nearly half of all Republicans, Libertarian, Green and Constitution party respondents don’t believe mass shootings will lessen with more gun control. And even through the Democratic party respondents were found to be more optimistic, one in every four persons are still not.

The site reported that regardless of any changes in gun control legislation, it is American’s indifference that should be the most concerning; the significant disbelief that further gun control will make a measurable difference in this violent trend. This is a clear reflection of Americans’ belief (or lack thereof) in the government and its inability to produce positive changes.

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