DECEMBER 9, 2022
USA News

Survey Reveals Alarming Support for Political Violence Among US Firearm Owners

Survey Reveals Alarming Support for Political Violence Among US Firearm Owners

A recent survey conducted by researchers at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) sheds light on concerning attitudes among US firearm owners towards political violence. Titled "Firearm Ownership and Support for Political Violence in the United States," the mega-study involved over 12,000 participants nationwide, meticulously weighted for demographics.

The study uncovered a significant openness among certain segments of gun owners to the notion and potential practice of political violence. Notably, those who have purchased firearms since the onset of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as well as individuals who regularly carry loaded weapons in public, exhibited elevated levels of susceptibility to political violence. This trend was also apparent among owners of assault-style rifles commonly used in mass shootings.

With gun purchases soaring and mass shooting incidents at record highs, nearly half of young Americans feel unsafe amidst escalating concerns over gun violence and homelessness. Against this backdrop, the upcoming 2024 US presidential race is increasingly framed as an existential battle for the nation's future, amplifying tensions across the political spectrum.

The survey findings serve as a stark warning to US officials, signaling a potentially perilous situation as the country approaches the election amid unprecedented political polarization. The researchers urge serious consideration from federal and state authorities, suggesting that recent gun purchasers may be gearing up for anticipated civil conflict.

According to the survey, a significant proportion of gun owners believe violence is justified for various political objectives, with a particularly concerning percentage indicating willingness to engage in extreme actions. Notably, a substantial portion of those who publicly carry loaded firearms expressed readiness to resort to violence, including shooting someone, if they perceived it as justified.

Furthermore, the study highlights the entrenched nature of extreme political views among certain gun-owning subgroups, with a notable portion foreseeing the possibility of civil war in the coming years. Published by Jama Network Open, this research underscores the urgent need for deeper understanding and proactive measures to address the troubling intersection of firearms ownership and political violence in the United States.

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