Pew: Americans see gun violence as big issue

Glock Model 21" by Michael @ NW Lens is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED.

Violent crime is all around us, unfortunately. Especially so-called gun violence.

Since 2020, we’ve seen a massive surge in violent crime. That spike has been so significant that people are concerned. I mean, people being gunned down in our communities tends to create something of a reaction.


According to Pew, the number of people who see it as a major problem has increased.

As gun-related death rates continue to rise each year in the U.S., a new Pew Research study found that while views about gun ownership and gun policy remain starkly divided along party lines, Americans across the political spectrum increasingly see gun violence and violent crime as issues of national concern.

Democrats and Republicans agree on little when it comes to gun ownership and gun policies, according to the report released Wednesday. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents surveyed said they believe that gun ownership increases safety; nearly the same percentage of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said the opposite. Only one policy proposal, restrictions on gun purchases for people with mental illnesses, received bipartisan support in the Pew study.

That part isn’t overly shocking.

However, it should be remembered that many Republicans are likely saying they support restrictions on gun purchases for people with mental illness because they’re supporting the current restrictions. Meanwhile, many Democrats are stating their support because they want new restrictions.


There are exceptions on both sides, though, where some Republicans want new restrictions and some Democrats were supporting the status quo.

This wasn’t the only partisan divide, either.

Concerns among Democrats and Republicans about crime have increased similarly. Fifty-two percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans view crime as a ‘very big’ national issue, up eight and 12 percentage points from 2021 respectively.

Meanwhile, concerns about gun violence are up 11 points among both Republicans and Democrats. That said, an over 40-point gap still exists between the two parties’ voters on the issue; 81 percent of Democrats view gun violence as a ‘very big’ issue as opposed to just 38 percent of Republicans.

This shouldn’t be overly shocking.

For Republicans, crime is an issue because there are other problems besides just gun violence. The increase in things like shoplifting, for example, has created massive problems not just for stores but also consumers as many businesses move out of certain neighborhoods where they simply can’t function with the increased thefts.

Democrats downplay those concerns, focusing instead on violent crimes carried out specifically with a firearm.


So what does this mean?

Well, my own take is that what we’re seeing right now is little more than what we’ve been seeing. The division on how to address things like gun violence exist in part because people have been told nonstop that guns are evil.

While those on the right typically and generally favor gun ownership–and it seems a number on the left surprisingly agree–the truth is that those folks generally have a certain degree of inoculation to the biased media. We know they’re going to provide spin, not facts, so we shrug it off.

Others aren’t so resilient in this regard.

What we need is a public relations blitz. We need to inundate the airwaves–both actual airwaves and digital ones–with the pro-Second Amendment message.

Maybe then we can change some of these numbers for the better.

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