According to a recent report in Science Daily (1-28-2013) the majority of Americans support more gun controls to reduce and prevent the epidemic of violence in the US. Despite the hysteria over the “violations” of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution generated by the NRA, the lunatic right-wing extremists in the Republican congressional delegations and their misinformed constituents, a recent scientifically conducted poll by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has determined that the majority of the American people reject these right-wing arguments and want more laws to ensure gun control.
Here is a breakdown of the survey’s findings (in percentages):
1. Universal background checks (no loopholes)– 89%.
2. Ban on military style assault weapons– 69%.
3. Ban on high capacity ammunition clips– 68%.
4. Ban on gun ownership for individuals considered “high risk”– 83%.
5. Ban on those who violate restraining orders for domestic violence– 81%
The article also reported that increased regulation of gun dealers had public support alongside various restrictions dealing with those having a mental illness. Both gun owners and non-gun owners were surveyed and the results showed little difference between them in their responses.
Colleen Barry, PhD, one of the authors of the study said “This research indicates high support among Americans, including gun owners in many cases, for a wide range of policies aimed at reducing gun violence. These data indicate broad consensus among the American public in support of a comprehensive approach to reducing the staggering toll of gun violence in the United States.”
The researchers also conducted a separate survey, at the same time they did the gun control survey, to determine the public’s attitudes towards mental illness. This is a complex subject requiring an analysis of the potential contradiction between the goal of preventing gun violence and that of preventing stigmatisation of persons with mental illness.
This second survey revealed the following:
1. In favor of more screening and treatment of mental illness to prevent gun violence– 61%.
2. Agreed that there is a big problem of discrimination against the mentally ill–58%.
About 50% of those interviewed thought that invididuals with a mental illness were more dangerous than those living without a mental illness and about 66% did not want to live near anyone with a “serious” mental illness. This lead Colleen Barry to conclude, “In the light of our findings about Americans’ attitudes toward persons with mental illness, it is worth thinking carefully about how to implement effective gun-violence prevention measures without exacerbating stigma or discouraging people from seeking treatment.”
This means Congress must engage in a serious non-partisan legislative project to begin reversing and eventually eliminating the dangerous culture of gun-violence that has been created by the gun manufacturing lobby, the NRA and the corrupt politicians that are dependent on them and do their bidding in Congress.
This survey has shown what the majority of the American people want and those in Congress and elected positions of power who work against the goals described above are only interested in their own narrow interests and the interests of a few big corporations and not those of the American adults and their children.
Right now the number of people murdered in the U.S. (31,000 a year according to Science Daily) is 20 times greater than the average in other developed capitalist nations that consider themselves “advanced.” It is not the American people who are ultimately responsible for this violent gun-culture imposed upon them by reactionary corporate forces and their political stooges. Now is the time to bring about meaningful change and mobilise progressives to support those fighting for change.Tags: North America
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This post was written by Thomas Riggins