A very interesting and instructive study on the attitudes towards guns, gun violence, and gun control in the U.S was conducted recently. In June 2017, Pew Research Center reported on a study, America’s Complex Relationship With Guns, that revealed a series of interesting, deeply seated attitudes that impact our ability to manage the gun problems in our country. There were eight takeaways:
- Three-in-ten American adults say they own a gun. Gun ownership cuts across demographic groups but is more concentrated among some.
- Protection tops the list of reasons for owning a gun.
- Many gun owners say they usually have a gun close at hand.
- For most gun owners, owning a firearm is tied to their sense of personal freedom.
- Gun owners and non-owners disagree on many gun policy proposals, and among gun owners, Republicans and Democrats don’t see eye to eye.
- There’s a sharp partisan divide over the NRA’s influence on gun laws.
- Gun owners and non-owners have differing views on the severity of gun violence.
- Many Americans say they know someone who has been shot.
Unless we can have open, honest, and transparent conversations, devoid of political grandstanding, about the issues that arise from this study, it is hopeless to assume we can save the next set of innocent lives who will fall victim to gun violence.