• Polling

Seven in Ten Americans View Gun Violence and Mass Shootings as Major Issues Facing the Country

Thursday, May 26, 2022 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
  • The violent crimes Americans are most concerned about include mass shootings, gun violence, and hate crimes – with Black and AAPI Americans most concerned about hate crimes.
  • Majorities feel gun violence, mass shootings, and hate crimes are a crisis or major issue of our time, and nearly three in five Americans want stronger gun laws.
  • Three in five say Washington has not done enough to prevent gun violence and that we have not done enough to reform laws to reduce violence in schools, houses of worship, and other public places.

On the Issue of Violent Crime, Americans’ Greatest Concerns Are Mass Shootings, Gun Violence, and Hate Crimes

Hate crimes top the list of concerns among Black (63%) and AAPI Americans (55%), while mass shootings are the highest concern for Hispanic (56%) and white Americans (53%).

Gun Violence and Mass Shootings are Seen as a Crisis or Major Issue by Seven in Ten Americans

Majorities of gun owners also say gun violence (58%) and mass shootings (62%) are a crisis or major issue.

Majorities Say Violent Hate Crimes in the United States Are a Crisis or Major Issue

Majorities across partisanship and race say hate crimes are a crisis or a major issue, but while nearly half of Democrats (47%) and a majority of Black Americans (59%) say they are a crisis, only one in five (20%) Republicans agree.

Majorities of Americans Want Stronger Gun Laws

Majorities across racial groups believe gun laws in the United States should be stronger, as do pluralities of independents (47%) and gun owners (37%).

Leaders in Washington Are Seen as Not Having Done Enough to Prevent Gun Violence By Three in Five Americans

Democrats (54%) and Black Americans (49%) are most likely to feel “strongly” that leaders in Washington have not done enough to prevent gun violence.

A Majority of Americans Feel We Have Not Done Enough to Reform Our Gun Laws to Reduce Gun Violence in Public Places

Since July 2021, there has been a 14-point increase in the net share who agree we have not done enough to reform gun laws (from +10 to +24).

On Biden’s Buffalo Speech, Focus on Racism, Weapons of War, & Getting Assault Weapons Off the Street Are Most Important

When provided excerpts from Biden’s remarks in New York after the Buffalo shooting, Americans highlighted phrases that captured the racist nature of the shooting and Biden’s condemnation of weapons of war “packaged for power and for profit” as most important to them, as well as “violence cannot be the story of our time” and “keep assault weapons off our streets.”

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 998 registered voters from May 19-May 23, 2022. 102 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 62 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 105 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 102 additional interviews were conducted among independent 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