More Americans Fearful of Gun Violence in Schools: NPR/PBS Poll
An NPR/PBS poll released Wednesday on U.S. gun violence shows that an increasing number of Americans say their local schools are not safe from gun violence.
The poll reveals that 40% of Americans say that the schools in their communities are not safe from such violence. This is up from 30% in 2019 and is the highest percentage in the last decade.
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23 Incidents of Gun Violence in US Schools This Year
The latest gun violence recorded in the U.S. was on May 22 when a student was shot and injured outside KIPP DC College Preparatory School in Washington, D.C. This event brought the total of school shootings with injuries or deaths in 2023 to 23.
In those incidents, 12 people have been killed (eight students and four school employees or other adults) and 22 people have been injured.
Last year marked a five-year high for school shootings with 51.
If the current rate of school shootings continues, the U.S. could set records for school shootings resulting in deaths and injuries. The current rate is roughly one school shooting every six days.
Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws, but Also More CCWs
According to the poll, many Americans indicate that the U.S. needs stricter gun laws. When they initially hear about a mass shooting, roughly 62% of Americans say the country needs tighter controls on firearms.
However, 35% of poll respondents said that more Americans should have conceal-and-carry licenses — up from the 19% in 2019.
Taking a look at U.S. gun ownership, University of Chicago research reveals that 46% of U.S. adults have a firearm in their household.
Twenty-two million Americans had a CCW as of 2021. California residents held less than 2% of those permits.
60% say Reducing Gun Violence More Important Than Gun Rights
The poll shared that 6 of 10 Americans, including 4 in 10 among those owning firearms, believe controlling gun violence is more important than protecting gun rights. This is a major change from 2013 when Americans were split nearly 50/50.
While 88% of Democrats and 55% of independents value controlling gun violence more than protecting the Second Amendment, 67% of Republicans say it’s more important to protect gun rights.
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27% Support Ban on Semi-Auto Assault-Style Weapons
The poll indicated that more than 1 in 4 Americans say that banning semi-automatic assault-style weapon sales would have the biggest impact on reducing gun violence. Seventeen percent stated that mental health screenings for all gun purchases would be most effective.
Other suggestions for reducing gun violence included background checks for gun purchasers (13%) and allowing teachers to possess a firearm in the classroom (10%).
But 20% indicated that none of these options would make a difference.
41% Affected by Gun Violence
Among poll respondents, 41% said they had experienced or knew someone who had experienced gun violence.
The groups most affected by gun violence were non-White citizens (47%), gun owners (49%), and parents with children under 18 (52%).
People in states with less restrictive gun laws also were more likely to have experienced or knew someone who had experienced gun violence (45%).