A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Physicians shows that nearly half of the public believes that gun violence is “more prevalent in urban areas.”
In fact, just over half of Americans believe that “people with guns are a greater threat than people without guns,” the poll found.
That’s an important statistic that should worry us all.
But a new study suggests that the American public may be getting a little too cozy with the notion that guns are inherently dangerous, and may be overlooking the fact that guns also can protect us.
The study, by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Texas, is based on data collected from over 5,000 American adults.
Among the findings: Nearly 60 percent of respondents think that a gun is “extremely dangerous” and that “many guns are used for crime, suicide, and other types of crime.”
Only about 15 percent of the survey respondents believed that “a firearm is ‘less dangerous’ than a knife.”
Even among people who did not consider themselves to be particularly concerned about the spread of gun violence, only 17 percent said that guns “are more dangerous than knives.”
The researchers conclude that “despite public and media hype that guns cause more deaths than other weapons, the evidence suggests that this perception may be based on an incomplete understanding of how firearms actually work.”
It is not hard to imagine how these findings could lead to further polarization, particularly among gun owners.
And while we may have seen the rise of the NRA in recent years, gun rights groups are also working to capitalize on the public’s distrust of government, with some calling for stricter gun control measures and gun-related legislation.
If this research holds up, gun control laws will likely only get more draconian in the years to come.
What is your take on this new study?
Let us know in the comments section below.