Americans Have Not Changed Gun Control Views in Light of Tuscon Shooting

According to the Pew Research Center, the recent Tuscon shooting has not triggered an increase in support for stricter gun control policy. Most Americans did not view the incident as an indication of a general problem in society but as an isolated act of the individual. Only 31% of Americans polled saw the incident as a reflection of a broader societal issue. Americans were more likely to classify the Virginia Tech shooting of 2007 as a universal problem; 46% of Americans polled in 2007 expressed a concern of a broader problem in society, in contrast to the 31% who expressed this concern in response to the Tuscon shootings. Among the 31% of Americans polled who saw the Tuscon shootings as a reflection of a larger scale problem, the most commonly indicated classification of these societal problems was the overall social climate, followed by the political/media climate. 27% blamed the overall social climate, followed by the 21% who blamed the political/media climate. Among the 31% who indicated a fundamental problem with society, only 13% mentioned the issue of gun control policy. Social climate issues included breakdown of society, bad parenting. lack of respect, frustration and hopelessness, lack of religious beliefs, lack of self-control, moral flaws, and stupidity. Political/media climate issues included bipartisan tensions, discontent with the current government, divisive political rhetoric, media coverage, and the extremist nature of the Republican party.

SSDAN Office

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