2 months after Parkland, fewer Americans say guns are top concern

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Lorie Shaull

April 17 (UPI) — Two months after the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school, fewer Americans think guns or gun control make up the nation’s most important problem, according to results from a new Gallup poll.

Most respondents identified government dissatisfaction as the top concern — with immigration and race relations also identified, the poll shows.

Guns were the fourth most common concern (6 percent) — down from a record 13 percent last month. The top issue, government dissatisfaction, was cited 23 percent of the time. Immigration and race relations had rates of 11 and 7 percent, respectively.

The issue was cited more frequently last month possibly due to a wave of activism and media coverage following the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

“In the immediate aftermath of this event, public opinion regarding gun control shifted significantly,” Gallup said.

Researchers said it’s common for support to rise, then quickly fall, after a mass shooting.

“It remains to be seen how long-lasting these changes in Americans’ attitudes will prove to be,” Gallup said. “Past shootings, such as the 2012 incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School, have changed at least some aspect of public opinion related to gun control, but these effects have tended to be temporary.”

Democrats and Republicans lost concern over gun control at roughly equal levels, which Gallup said suggests “the issue is losing some of its potency with both major parties.”

“The fact that mentions of guns dropped among both Republicans and Democrats, and at nearly equal measures, could pose challenges for the continued viability of this topic as a national issue,” the study said.

The poll surveyed more than 1,000 and has a margin of error of 4 points.


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