Poll: 84 Percent of Americans Believe Violence Committed With Guns a Criminal Issue, Not Public Health Issue

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Oct 09, 2014 3:15 PM
Poll: 84 Percent of Americans Believe Violence Committed With Guns a Criminal Issue, Not Public Health Issue

For years gun control advocates have tried to turn incidents of 'gun violence' into a public health issue in order to justify wide reaching government regulations, but a new scientific poll from the National Shooting Sports Foundation shows the vast majority of Americans view violence committed with guns as a criminal issue, not one of public health. The poll also shows an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the Centers for Disease Control should be focused on combating illness and disease, not 'gun violence.'

An overwhelming 84 percent of survey respondents said gun violence is a criminal justice issue, rather than a public health issue, such as viruses. An even higher 88 percent of respondents said they do not think the CDC should spend resources on studying the use of guns in crime rather than on studying viruses and disease. Some 71 percent of respondents said that the federal government should not classify gun violence as a public health issue in the manner of viruses and diseases.

When asked whether the definition of gun violence should be expanded to include accidents and instances of self-defense, nearly three-quarters of respondents said gun violence is a crime committed using a firearm with the intent to injure another person.

"As the significant challenges posed by the Ebola epidemic demonstrate, the emphasis of the Centers for Disease Control should remain on the study, prevention and containment of viruses and infectious disease," NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane said in a statement. "For political reasons, many involved in gun control activism would like to re-define the criminal misuse of guns into a public health issue. We commissioned this survey to help determine where Americans stood on this issue. To put it plainly, they don't buy it. And given the 20-year reduction in violent crime that the FBI reports, even as the number of firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens has increased, they shouldn't buy it."

In 2013, President Obama ordered the CDC "to research the causes and prevention of gun violence." The results of that study were contrary and unhelpful to his policy positions on gun control.