A new CBS poll shows Americans are generally pessimistic about the trajectory of “gun violence” (better called violent crime) over the next decade. Almost half—47 percent—predict a rise over the next 10 years, while less than one in six believe it will decrease (34 percent expected no change).
Despite historically low rates of violent crime, people paradoxically still believe crime is rising—making the sense of pessimism unsurprising. But that isn’t the only bit of misinformation reflected in the results—while a full 28 percent of Democrats (and a more modest 11 percent of Republicans and Independents) cited “availability of guns/gun laws” as the primary cause of gun violence, data indicates as gun sales have risen and gun laws have become more reasonable, crime has fallen.
The poll results themselves give lie to the second-most-cited cause, “Lack of gun training”—something less than one in five responding gun owners said they lacked.
While the poll results provide few new insights, they do show how important it is that we continue educating those around us.