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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Public Opinion On Gun Control - 1249 words
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.. on generally increased support for gun control in the short term and no sign that it did so after six months. The 1999 National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center: Research Findings measured pre-and post-Littleton attitudes. Generally, fewer respondents were in favor of stricter gun control after Columbine that were before. For example, results from Harris poll show that 69 percents of respondents favored stricter gun control prior to Columbine compared with 63 percent post-Columbine.
(Smith 1999) In an AP poll, when the question was asked one week prior to Columbine and again approximately four months after Columbine, results remained stable, with 56 percent pre- Columbine in favor of stricter gun control laws and 56 percent post-Columbine feeling the same way. The same AP poll showed a slight rise in those who felt better enforcement of existing gun laws would decrease gun violence, from 47 percent prior to Columbine to 49 percent in the aftermath of Columbine.Littleton serves as a powerful example of how fixed American's views of gun control rally are. Even a mass school shooting on live television did little to change people's views on this issue.If we look at a general profile of those who support gun control we see that women, residents of large cities and their suburbs, liberals, and Democrats are most likely to support general gun control measures, whereas men, residents of rural areas, conservatives, and Republicans are least likely to support such measures. People with higher levels of educational attainment also are more likely to support general gun control measures. Support does not vary by marital status, age, or income( Smith 2001)The sources of public opinion on gun control were studied by Gary Kleck in his study conducted in 1996
In that study national survey data were combined with information about the cities in which urban respondents lived to determine whether support for gun control is increased by exposure to high crime rates, prior victimization, and fear of crime, or is a product of membership in social groups with cultures hostile to ownership and use of guns. Results indicate that support for gun permits is generally unrelated to crime-related variables but is heaviest among those social groups regarded as most hostile to gun ownership and its associated cultural traits. That is, support is stronger among liberals, higher-income persons, those with more schooling, Jews, and those who do not own guns or hunt. The results support the view that gun control support is more a product of culture conflict than a response to crime.To test whether support for gun control is an instrumental response to crime, associations were measured between gun permit opinion and four city crime rates, three kinds of personal victimization experiences, and two measures of fear of crime. Of these nine crime measures, only one, fear of walking in one's neighborhood, was significantly and positively related to support for gun permits.
And even this association was not a robust one; it was significant only among women and only in some specifications of the models. The robbery rate was the only crime that seemed to increase gun permit support, and even this was true only for women and African Americans. Thus these results suggest that high crime rates and prior victimization do not increase support for gun control among the general urban population. Indeed, higher burglary rates actually appear to depress gun control support, even after controlling for gun ownership. It is possible that crime stimulates gun control support among policymakers even though it does not do so for their constituents in the general public. For example, legislators may support specific legislative proposals in response to highly publicized incidents of violence with guns. However, because there is generally no association between crime rates and news media publicity about crime (Garafolo, 1981 and Marsh, 1989), this would be perfectly compatible with the conclusion that higher crime rates do not generate support for gun control measures, even among policymakers.
In other words, legislators respond to publicity about crime, but this publicity is unrelated to rates of crime and violence. Instead of gun control support being seen as a response to crime, it would seem more useful to see it as the product of membership in culturally conflicting social groups. Gun control support is highest among better educated, higher income liberals who do not own guns or hunt (i.e., who are not tied to subcultures linked with legitimate gun use). Although analysis of an urban-only sample cannot establish urban-rural patterns, prior research has also found gun control support stronger among city dwellers and suburbanites ( Erskine, 1972; Smith, 1980). Thus gun control opinion is related to membership in many of the groups thought to have differing cultures concerning guns, hunting, modernism versus traditionalism, change-orientation versus status quo, internationalism versus localism, and so on. On the other hand, regional origins, gender, and affiliation with a Protestant denomination were unrelated to gun control opinions.
To sum up: most Americans oppose outright bans or severe limits on gun ownership. Moreover, a significant minority of Americans remain firmly opposed to many gun control policies, and opinions on gun control, whether for or against, tend to remain fixed over time. Regardless of how they feel about guns, Americans are unlikely to change their minds on the issue.This may help explain why gun control policies have been slow to change, despite broad public support for tighter regulation of firearms. Although support for gun control is strong, it faces significant opposition, which has remained solid despite public events such as the Littleton shootings that some people thought would weaken pro-gun public opinion. The battle lines on gun control are well drawn and entrenched. It may be some time before there is significant movement on either side.References: 1.
Erskine, H. (1972). The polls: Gun control. Public Opinion Quarterly, 36, 455-469. 2.
Garafolo, J. (1981). Crime and the mass media. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 18, 319-350. 3.
Kleck, Gary: Crime, culture conflict and the sources of support for gun control: a multilevel application of the general social surveys. (Special Issue: Public Opinion on Justice in the Criminal Justice System).19964. Marsh, H. L. (1989).
Newspaper crime coverage in the U.S.: 1983-1988. Criminal Justice Abstracts, 21, 506-514. 5. Schmittroth, Linda :" Gun Control: Restricting Rights or Protecting People "Gale Group, Inc. 2003.
6. Smith, T. W. (1980). The 75% solution: An analysis of the structure of attitudes on gun control, 1959-1977. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 71, 300-316.
7. Smith, T. W. 1999 National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center: Research Findings, Chicago, IL:NORC, 2000, "Percentage of Public Ranking Guns and Crime as Most Important U.S. Problems/Issues Pre- and Post-Littleton.8.
Smith, Tom W : " 2001 National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center: Research Findings, University of Chicago, Dec 2001. Primary source: National Gun Policy survey, 1996-1999 and 2001 and General Social Survey, 1996-2000.9. Smith, Tom, W. Public opinion about Gun Policies. (Public Perspectives).
The Future of Children, Summer-Fall 2002 v12 i2 p155(9) 10. Webster, D.W. Vernick, J.S.: "Support for new policies to regulate firearms."New England Journal of Medicine(September 17, 1998) 339(12): 813-18Web 1. : Sourcebook - Index, 1.. Attitudes toward gun control, by demographic characteristics, United States, 2001:http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/1995/ind/PUB LIC OPINION.Guns, firear, accessed April 2004.Web 2 "in a Relatively Issue-Less Election Year (So Far) Education and Health Care Top the List of Issues, Which People want the Government to address," http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris poll/ accessed april 2004Web 3 "The Gun Control Enigma" http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris poll accessed April 2004.Web 4 "Large Majority Continues to Favor Stricter Gun Controls" http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris poll/ April 25 2001, accessed April 2004.
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