Many Republicans think mass shootings are ‘something we have to accept as part of a free society’


With a sample size of 2,021 U.S. adults that were interviewed between June 1 and June 3, the survey was conducted to understand where Americans stand on gun control laws. It followed multiple mass shootings across the country, including a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which sparked conversation on prevention and solutions. At this time, Congress is once again considering legislation on gun control, prompting the debate on whether that will make a difference.

One of the questions in the poll asked respondents if they feel that mass shootings are “unfortunately something we have to accept as part of a free society” or “something we can prevent and stop if we really tried.” Almost half of all respondents who identified as Republicans, about 44%, said that shootings like the one in Uvalde are “unfortunately something we have to accept as part of a free society.” Comparatively, 85% of Democrats and 73% of independents said mass shootings are “something we can prevent and stop if we really tried.”

After the horrific Texas shootings only days earlier, President Joe Biden insisted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell work with both parties to have them agree on gun control measures. The task is difficult because many Republicans refuse to even discuss policy changes on firearms, which they believe would infringe on their Second Amendment right. 

In the poll, the one question most respondents, despite political affiliation, appeared to agree on was how likely it is that Congress will “pass any laws in the next few months that will make significant changes to gun policy.” Unfortunately, the majority across the board said it is “not very likely” or “not at all likely” that Congress will pass significant new gun legislation in the coming months. About 66% of Democrats, 72% of Independents, and 71% of Republicans felt this way.

In the meantime, while federal law may be difficult, some local and state officials are working toward making the process to buy firearms more difficult. States are doing this by taking the step to raise the age requirement necessary to buy guns.

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