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Monday, Feb 26, 2024

Gun Violence Is Top Public Health Concern For Americans, Says New Study

Gun Violence Is Top Public Health Concern For Americans, Says New Study

49% of Black Americans, 50% of Democrats, and 31% of people living in urban areas cited firearm access as their number one concern.
Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the US. Now, according to a new study, a quarter of Americans believe guns are the number one public health threat, Guardian reported. According to a study conducted by Axios and the Ispos American Health Index, 26% of Americans believe access to guns is the top threat to public health. Meanwhile, around 25% believe opioids and fentanyl are the top concern.

''Access to guns and firearms is now considered one of the top threats to public health, alongside opioids and fentanyl. Since February, the number of Americans citing guns as their top concern has increased significantly,'' the study notes.

In February, only 17% of Americans cited gun access as a top concern. In three months, that number has increased nearly 10 percentage points from 17 percent to 26 percent.

49% of Black Americans, 50% of Democrats, and 31% of people living in urban areas cited firearm access as their number one concern.

The figures come as the country has been rocked by a spate of mass shootings. So far, the US has witnessed more than 200 mass shootings and more than 16,000 firearm deaths, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.

Earlier this month, a gunman opened fire at a crowded mall outside Dallas, killing at least eight people and injuring at least seven, as per BBC. In the wake of the tragedy, President Joe Biden called once again for Congress to tighten gun controls. Notably, most adults aged 21 or over in Texas are allowed to carry a handgun without a licence, unless they have a previous conviction.

As per a report from Everytown Research & Policy, the gun homicide rate in the US is up to 26 times that of other high-income countries, and the gun suicide rate is nearly 12 times higher.

The country also experienced 648 mass shootings and 44,000 gun-related deaths last year, illustrating the severity of the issue with guns, according to the Gun Violence Archive website. The country has more weapons than people: one in three adults owns at least one weapon and nearly one in two adults lives in a home where there is a weapon.
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