Public perception of gun violence skewed
By USA Today
Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 5:57 p.m.
Public perception skewed
A majority of Americans think violent gun crime is more of a problem than ever, according to a Pew Research Center study released on Tuesday, when the reality is that it has declined significantly.
According to the survey, done in March, 56 percent of Americans believe gun crime is worse than it was 20 years ago. And 84 percent believe that in recent years, gun crime has increased or stayed the same.
“The public doesn't get its feelings out of crime statistics,” said Alfred Blumstein, an urban systems professor at Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. “The public gets its feelings from particularly notorious events and what the press talks about.”
David Hemenway, a professor at Harvard's School of Public Health, called Pew's findings “not surprising at all.”
He said a recent case that attracted national news, in which a 5-year-old boy in Kentucky accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister, was an example of a relatively commonplace event that, in light of the national focus on guns at the moment, became national news.
“Every week or so, something like that happens,” he said. “But that's the focus now, so people are not surprisingly misled.”
— USA Today
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Spyware in government computers ‘has Russian paw prints all over it’
- D.C. cherry bloom peak forecast for April 8-12
- Netanyahu says words don’t match Iran actions
- House OKs legislation to ease increases in flood insurance premiums
- Volunteers reconstruct World War II bomber plane
- Because of crisis, world’s relations on verge of big shift
- Traffic cameras rejected in Ohio ruling
- 5 more Duke Energy plants cited
- Justices decline to hear Hazleton anti-immigrant case
- Bin Laden’s son-in-law goes on trial
- Shutdown cost national parks at least $414M