A recent poll shows the percentage of Americans who believe a gun in the home makes it more dangerous is shrinking, news that’s troubling for groups founded on that belief.
Gallup released a survey yesterday where 63 percent of Americans said a gun in a home makes it safer, a sentiment that has nearly doubled since 2000. Results Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said made them “deeply troubled.”
“This dangerous misperception (of guns in homes making you safer) leads to thousands of unnecessary deaths every year, including several children every day,” said Dan Gross, president of Brady Campaign, in a press release.
The opinions expressed in the poll conflict with results of a Brady study of firearm related deaths, “The Truth About Kids and Guns,” that shows the majority of gun deaths are inside the home and by children, and that a gun a in a home is likely to lead to homicide, suicide or an unintentional shooting rather than self-defense.
“We realize most Americans bring a gun into the home legally, with no intent of doing harm. But, too often, the result is tragic,” Gross said, adding parents should educate themselves before buying a gun.
Brady isn’t the first gun group — pro or anti — to contest poll results. In 2013, the National Rifle Association described the figure showing 90 percent of Americans supporting universal background checks a “lie,” despite four separate opinion polls showing those results.
However, public opinion on gun ownership has changed over the past year. Last month, Gallup released a poll showing a shift in how Americans view gun control and gun ownership.
With regard to firearm sales, 47 percent think the U.S. needs stricter laws. That figure is down from 58 percent in 2012 in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting, which spurred a nationwide debate on gun ownership (and resulted in polarizing poll results). As for gun ownership, a near record high of 73 percent think handguns should not be banned.
In January, a poll showed an increase in those who are dissatisfied with gun laws and wanting them less strict. While the majority, 55 percent, expressed satisfaction with the nation’s gun laws, opinions on how strict they are vary.
Forty percent said they were satisfied with the strictness of U.S. gun laws, 31 percent said they want stricter laws and 16 percent said they want less strict. Of those polled that said they were dissatisfied, 35 percent were very dissatisfied and 20 percent said somewhat dissatisfied.