More than eight out of ten Americans say that the misuse of guns in violent crimes is a matter for the criminal justice system, not a public health issue, and that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) should not spend resources on the study of “gun violence” but instead concentrate on viruses and disease.

These findings are among the results of a national scientific poll of 1055 likely voters conducted live by telephone Sept. 30-Oct. 2. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) commissioned this survey to determine whether adults share the view of some gun control organizations and activists that the use of guns in crime, for which they use the short-hand “gun violence,” is a public health issue.

An overwhelming 84 percent of survey respondents said gun violence is a criminal justice issue, rather than a public health issue, such as viruses. An even higher 88 percent of respondents said they do not think the CDC should spend resources on studying the use of guns in crime rather than on studying viruses and disease. Some 71 percent of respondents said that the federal government should not classify gun violence as a public health issue in the manner of viruses and diseases.

When asked whether the definition of gun violence should be expanded to include accidents and instances of self-defense, nearly three-quarters of respondents said gun violence is a crime committed using a firearm with the intent to injure another person.

The survey was conducted by Harper Polling. The margin of error is +/-3.02 percent. Respondents self-identified as 38 percent Democrat, 33 percent Republican and 30 percent independent. As to ethnicity, 74 percent of respondents said they were White, 11 percent African-American, 8 percent Hispanic; and 7 percent, other. As to age, 25 percent of respondents said they were 18-39; 27 percent, 40-54; 23 percent 55-65; and 25 percent, 66 or older.

“As the significant challenges posed by the Ebola epidemic demonstrate, the emphasis of the Centers for Disease Control should remain on the study, prevention and containment of viruses and infectious disease,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “For political reasons, many involved in gun control activism would like to re-define the criminal misuse of guns into a public health issue. We commissioned this survey to help determine where Americans stood on this issue. To put it plainly, they don’t buy it. And given the 20-year reduction in violent crime that the FBI reports, even as the number of firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens has increased, they shouldn’t buy it.”


Mike Bazinet

Image courtesy National Shooting Sports Foundation

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2 thoughts on “Americans Say ‘Gun Violence’ is Criminal Justice, Not Public Health Issue, National Poll Finds

  1. The fearful and controlling and bigoted and misguided anti-gun crowd are constantly trying new angles to promote their world-without-guns ideology and dreaming up new reasons to disarm the public. They want us to be defenceless and easily controlled by those with guns and by those who are physically superior. They are in fact, betraying us all. The lessons of history have been totally lost on these people and they live in a fantasy world.
    Gun ownership and gun crimes are not a disease any more than car and truck ownership and their use in crimes are. Cars and trucks and motorcycles are used to commit homicide, suicide, sexual assaults, kidnappings, robberies, transportation of illicit drugs and stolen items and more. Are they claiming then too that motor vehicles used in crimes are a disease needing to be studied by doctors? We already know the cause. Bad people. And the cure is law enforcement and prison. Same with crimes using guns.
    And people have been committing violent crimes forever, throughout history. Do they now think that some doctors and researchers are going to find some magic cure to stop people from killing each other ? And actually there is evidence that gun ownership and use has brought peace and civilization to us all because for the first time in human history, the physically weak can effectively defend themselves against the physically strong. In the olden days, it was the physically strong who controlled others, just like in the animal kingdom.
    Those who would disarm us are like wolves in sheep’s clothing, telling us to give up our right to self defence. Telling us to trust them and that they will take care of everything. Don`t believe them.

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