• Polling

Mass Shootings, Hate Crimes, Gun Violence Top Crime Concerns

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

Key takeaways

  • More Americans are concerned about the effect of crime on the country at large than on the people in their community, with most concerned about gun violence and hate crimes.
  • Requiring background checks on all guns tops a list of crime reduction policies as the most strongly supported and the policy seen as being most effective.
  • While Biden and Democrats are more trusted to handle hate crimes, gun violence, gun policy, and reducing violent crime, Republicans currently have an edge on funding local police.


Perception of Rising Crime Remains More National Than Local

While Americans are more likely to say crime has risen nationally in the last year than in their community, since June 28th, there has also been a 6-point increase in the share who say there is more crime in their community than there was a year ago (38% to 44%).

Four in Five Americans Say Gun Violence and Mass Shootings Are a Crisis or Major Problem

Even among gun owners*, 77% say it is a “crisis” or “major problem”; among non-gun owners, 88% say the same.

More Are Concerned About Crime in Country at Large; Top Concerns Are Mass Shootings, Hate Crimes, and Gun Violence

Democrats (59%) and independents (43%) are most concerned about mass shootings, while Republicans are most concerned about gang violence (40%).

Majorities Continue to Say Leaders Haven’t Done Enough to Prevent Gun Violence and Want Stronger Gun Laws

Majorities of independents continue to say leaders in Washington have not done enough to prevent gun violence.

Background Checks Both Most Popular and Most Effective at Reducing Crime

Half of respondents were asked if they support a range of crime reduction policies, while the other half was shown the same list and asked whether each would be effective in reducing crime. Requiring background checks topped both lists, followed by increasing police funding, making it harder to buy guns, and banning assault weapons.

Biden and Democrats More Trusted on Hate Crimes, Gun Policies, and Violent Crime – Less So on Funding Police

Among independents, Biden and Democrats are more trusted to address hate crimes (+18) and gun violence (+8), while Republicans are more trusted on gun policy (+4), violent crime (+11), and funding local police (+22).

About The Study

This release features findings from a national online survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted July 15-19, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 100 Hispanic voters, 101 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 71 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org