Advertisement
World

American gun owners think mass shootings are a part of ‘free society’: poll

From left, Ryan Donato, Heather Barclay and her sister Tracy Gyurina grieve at a candlelight vigil for Nicol Kimura, a victim of the Las Vegas mass shooting, at Sierra Vista Elementary School in Placentia, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. .
From left, Ryan Donato, Heather Barclay and her sister Tracy Gyurina grieve at a candlelight vigil for Nicol Kimura, a victim of the Las Vegas mass shooting, at Sierra Vista Elementary School in Placentia, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. . Reed Saxon/AP

A poll released on the fifth anniversary of the Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — which left 20 children dead — has found many American gun owners believe such acts of violence are just part of having a “free society.”

READ MORE: 5 years after the Sandy Hook shooting, mental health reforms await funding

The CBS News/YouGov poll, titled ‘American attitudes toward gun violence,’ found that 51 per cent of gun owners think “mass shootings are something we have to accept as part of a free society,” 49 per cent thought the deadly incidents can be prevented “if we really tried.”

WATCH: 93 — Gun violence in America by the numbers

93: Gun violence in America by the numbers
93: Gun violence in America by the numbers

Gun owners in the poll also voiced support for owning firearms. Fifty-three per cent said guns are “part of what makes America great,” 61 per cent said guns help make the country “free.” They also felt that having a gun protects them from two major threats — criminals and terrorists.

Story continues below advertisement

Americans who don’t own guns were slightly less keen on their benefits. Thirty-three per cent said mass shootings are part of a free society, while 67 per cent said they can be prevented. About 55 per cent also described guns as “dangerous,” while 38 per cent said they are “scary.”

READ MORE: 4 things Donald Trump is doing to loosen gun laws in the U.S.

The poll also found that emotions over the gun control debate are at a high. Many gun owners (71 per cent) are accusing those advocating for stricter laws of trying to give the government control over people.

Non-gun owners, on the other hand, are more likely (62 per cent) to see firearms regulations as a way to promote safety.

WATCH: Las Vegas shooting sparks gun control debate

Las Vegas shooting sparks gun control debate
Las Vegas shooting sparks gun control debate

One thing both sides agreed on is the threat of gun violence in schools. Among parents, 55 per cent of gun owners were worried about a possible incident, while 53 per cent of non-gun owners were concerned.

READ MORE: 69% of Canadians support outright ban on guns in urban areas

This latest poll comes about two months after the Las Vegas mass shooting, which left 58 people dead. In the days after that shooting, a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that most Americans still hold the same opinions about gun control as they did before the deadly incident.

Story continues below advertisement

About 61 per cent said the country’s gun laws should be tougher, while 27 per cent would rather see them remain the same, and 11 per cent want them to be less strict. That’s similar to the results of an Associated Press poll in July 2016.

WATCH: Trump says tighter gun control would have led to ‘hundreds’ killed in Texas church shooting

Trump: Tighter gun control would have led to ‘hundreds’ killed in Texas church shooting
Trump: Tighter gun control would have led to ‘hundreds’ killed in Texas church shooting

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump defended current gun ownership rules in the country in November, following another mass shooting at a church in Texas. The shooter in that incident was shot by another man who happened to be carrying a gun.

READ MORE: Las Vegas shooting didn’t change American minds on gun control, poll finds

At press conference days later, Trump said tighter gun control would have led to “hundreds” more deaths.

This CBS News poll was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,073 U.S. adults. The interviews were completed online between Dec. 5-11. The margin of error is about 2.7 per cent. 

— With files from The Associated Press

Global News Redesign Global News Redesign
A fresh new look for Global News is here, tell us what you think
Take a Survey

Sponsored Stories