Perspectives on gun ownership in the US
August 6, 2021

Editor’s note: We are in no way shape or form advocating for more gun laws with this article. No knee jerk boomer rage is necessary, enjoy.

Earlier this year, during April and June, Pew Research Center (PRC) conducted surveys that assessed a variety of perspectives on gun ownership, such as accessibility, and use.

Participants in the surveys were picked through PRC’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through a randomized, national sampling of residential addresses.

There were differing opinions between gun owners and non-owners, which is expected. Despite this, there are some notable intersections of agreement between both sides of the respondents.

Let the numbers speak for themselves

The most prominently agreed upon topic in the survey was “Preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns.” 87% of gun owners and 88% of non-owners agreed with the sentiment.

86% of gun owners and non-owners that lean Republican agreed with preventing mentally ill individuals from buying guns. Of the Democrat-leaning respondents, 88% of gun-owners agreed, while 91% of the non-owners did too.

The second most agreed upon concept from the surveys was “Making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks.” 87% of non-owners feel that this is the right thing to do, while 72% of gun owners feel the same.

Of the notions less-agreed upon, the most disparate of these was “Allowing people to carry concealed guns in more places,” as 70% of owners agreed with the idea. Only 30% of non-owners also agreed.

Gun shop

Man shops for guns in Stans Merry Mart March 2, 2018, Wenatchee, Wash. (Photo by Thayne Tuason) License.

Surveys similar to this one, while somewhat abstract given the lack of specificity in formulating statements for a response, offer a tangible glance into which areas should be managed first when it comes to gun ownership in the U.S.

From this survey, it appears that many agree on barring those who are mentally-unfit to own guns. This conclusion is based on the fact that both sides of the issue, regardless of ownership status and political standing, largely agree with attempting to configure a plan for resolving this issue.

Whenever covering a topic as broad as gun rights in the U.S., surveys like this provide legislators with the initial information they need to direct their attention towards. Although they should, legislators rarely let statistical data determine what they focus on; let’s hope that changes in the future.

After handling the agreeable topics, it will be even easier to ask the questions to topics that spur disagreement without infringing on the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to keep and bear Arms.

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