The vast majority of people living in the United States have, in some capacity or another, been affected in some manner by the pandemic of gun violence that has swept the country.
This is one of the key findings that can be gleaned from a nationwide survey that was published on Tuesday by KFF, a nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to advance medical research.
According to the results of the survey, specifically, around one in five Americans report having a family member who was killed by gun violence. The same proportion of people report having been threatened with a firearm. One in every six people reported having firsthand experience seeing a gunshot.
The results illustrate how the threat of gun violence permeates the lives of millions of people in the United States and influences the choices they make on a daily basis. The vast majority of respondents said that they take at least one safety measure to protect themselves from the risk of being exposed to gun violence. A little less than a third of respondents claimed that they steer clear of crowded locations like music festivals and pubs. More than forty percent of respondents claimed that they had searched for weapons to defend themselves or that they had attempted to learn how to fire or handle a gun.
According to the poll, an alarming three out of four people who live in homes containing firearms claim that at least one of those firearms is either unlocked, loaded, or kept with ammunition at any given time.
The findings are based on the responses of 1,271 persons who were selected at random from around the country.
NPR sat down with Ashley Kirzinger, the director of survey methodology at the KFF, to discuss the findings of the poll and how they connect to the general public’s impressions of gun-related violence.
Due to the unsafe storage of firearms, incidents such as unintentional shootings and the possibility of minors gaining access to firearms occur. It is well known that firearms are the biggest cause of mortality among young Americans in the United States who are under the age of twenty. Even while we hear a lot about mass shootings — and this is not to minimize what takes place during a mass shooting — the vast majority of occurrences involving guns in our nation are not mass shootings. These are conflicts inside a household.