FEATURED IMAGE | Source: Pax Ahimsa Gethen, March for Our Lives San Francisco 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0
The school shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has reignited the conversation about gun control. In light of this nationwide discussion, Blind sent out a survey asking users two questions: 1) Do you support tougher gun control laws? 2) Do you own a gun?
Over 2,000 users responded to the first question and 84 percent of people answered that they are in favor of tougher gun laws. The overall percentage of Blind users in favor of imposing more restrictions is higher than the national average. According to a Quinnipiac University National Poll, 66 percent of American voters responded that they are in favor of more stringent laws.
Blind’s second question was answered by over 1,400 users with 78 percent replying that they do not own a firearm. The remaining 22 percent, which reflects gun owners, ranks lower than the national average when compared to some studies. Based on a 2017 Pew report, 30 percent of Americans personally own guns. Gallup reported 29 percent and GSS found a smaller result at 21 percent. Interestingly, both Netflix and VMware came in higher than the national average with 38 percent of surveyed employees saying they do own a gun.
Although a larger pool of employees will need to be surveyed for Blind’s results to be more conclusive, the current data suggests that most tech employees want gun control and probably don’t own any NRA branded cards (although the entire US population will own less of these in general). When it comes to gun legislation, Republicans are stereotypically viewed as the gun-loving bunch, whereas Democrats are fighting to take their weapons away. However, Pew finds that there is bipartisan support for restrictions such as “preventing people with mental illnesses from buying guns, barring gun purchases by people on federal no-fly or watch lists, and background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows.” The common ground breaks away when it comes to allowing more concealed carry and banning assault weapons.
The gun debate is a hot topic following mass shootings, an event that has come to be known as an American problem. How do we create meaningful results from this recent conversation instead of reaching a standstill? Maybe the first step is to avoid falling prey to stereotypes that don’t completely hold up to data, like the one about Democrats and Republicans being divided on gun control as explained above. Instead of villainizing or pitting groups against each other, those engaged in the discussion should focus on the problem at hand: preventing mass shootings and protecting the public. Then suggest solutions based on data instead of creating solutions to protect personal interests. Marco Rubio, who received donations from the NRA, is open to imposing new regulations on guns but does not want to ban assault weapons. Parkland survivors disagree with Rubio regarding the latter. One person suggested arming teachers to keep students safe. Others, well they weren’t too keen on that idea. There is evidence to show that the states with the most guns have the most gun deaths. Developed countries with the most guns also have more firearm related casualties. Based on this information, reducing the amount of guns is just one measure that may help reduce the number of mass shootings. Arming teachers and putting guns in schools is not a solution that studies support.
Gun control has become a discussion that arouses emotional responses but maybe it’s moving away from the emotions and the personal interests, and relying on what has found to be true, that will help guide this conversation on gun legislation to a solution, and hopefully prevent more lives from being lost.
Want to embed the charts above? Grab the embed codes below!
Embed Code for Tougher Gun Control Laws Chart:
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Embed Code for Gun Ownership Chart:
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