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NCJ Number: 68574 Find in a Library
Title: ATTITUDES OF THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE TOWARD GUN CONTROL, 1978 - SUMMARY FINDINGS OF TWO NATIONAL SURVEYS
Corporate Author: Decision/Making/Information
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 140
Sponsoring Agency: Decision/Making/Information
Santa Ana, CA 92701
National Rifle Assoc
Washington, DC 20036
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS REPORT, FUNDED BY THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION, SUMMARIZES THE RESULTS OF TWO SURVEYS OF REGISTERED VOTERS TO EXAMINE ATTITUDES TOWARDS GUN OWNERSHIP AND GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION.
Abstract: THESE SURVEYS POLLED 1,500 REGISTERED VOTERS IN MAY AND JUNE 1978 ON THEIR ATTITUDES TOWARDS GUN CONTROL. A FOLLOW-UP SURVEY OF 1,010 IN DECEMBER 1978 WAS TO CONFIRM AND CLARIFY THE MOST IMPORTANT SPRING SURVEY FINDINGS. THE THREE OBJECTIVES OF THE SURVEY WERE (1) TO MEASURE GUN OWNERSHIP AS OF 1978, (2) TO ASSESS CRIME AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO AMERICANS, AND (3) TO GAUGE SENTIMENT ON GUN-RELATED LEGISLATION. THE SAMPLE INDICATED GUN OWNERSHIP WAS WIDESPREAD; 47 PERCENT OF THOSE SURVEYED OWNED GUNS (23 PERCENT OF WHOM OWNED HANDGUNS). SELF-DEFENSE IS SEEN AS THE STRONGEST MOTIVE FOR BUYING A GUN, ESPECIALLY BY NON-GUNOWNERS. GUN USE FOR SELF-DEFENSE HAS BEEN MOST COMMON AMONG SOUTHERNERS AND MOUNTAIN STATE RESIDENTS, RURAL RESIDENTS AND THOSE 18 TO 19 YEARS OLD. THE EXPERIENCE OF HAVING NEEDED, BUT NOT HAD, A GUN IS MORE COMMON AMONG BLACKS AND HISPANICS, BIG-CITY DWELLERS, AND THOSE 18 TO 19 YEARS OF AGE. ONE THIRD REGARD CRIME AS 'ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS IN LIFE': CRIME IS A SPECIAL CONCERN TO OLDER VOTERS AND CITY DWELLERS. THE RESPONDENTS BELIEVE CRIME HAS INCREASED BECAUSE OF MORAL DECAY, LENIENT LAWS, AND THE ECONOMY. LESS THAN ONE PERCENT (0.2 PERCENT) OF THOSE SURVEYED IDENTIFIED GUN CONTROL AS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING THE COUNTRY. THE MAJORITY OF THOSE SURVEYED BELIEVED MORE LAWS GOVERNING THE POSSESSION AND USE OF FIREARMS WOULD NOT RESULT IN A DECREASE IN THE CRIME RATE. SURVEY INSTRUMENTS AND DATA ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Gun Control; Physical crime prevention; Surveys; Weapons violations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68574

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