A new nationally representative survey examining young people’s attitudes toward guns and gun violence found that respondents who identify with gun culture often hold male supremacist and racist beliefs. The report found that young people who are most closely associated with guns are more likely to be white people people with symptoms of mental distress. The research — which polled 4,000 Americans between the ages of 14 and 30 over the past year — also found that respondents with male supremacist and racist beliefs were more likely to trust police and say they feel safer with guns than without them, The 19th reports.
The recent study — conducted by the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Everytown for Gun Safety* — found that young men more often agreed with “gun narratives” like “People should buy guns now because society might collapse in our lifetime” and “Guns bring families together.” Pasha Dashtgard, the director of research for PERIL, told The 19th that America’s shifting economic landscape and exposure to radical ideas on social media are factors driving these attitudes.
What to Know Today
Americans bought an estimated 1.19 million guns in July 2023. That figure includes about 710,000 handguns and 480,000 long guns. [The Trace]
A federal judge rejected a pro-gun group’s lawsuit against Connecticut’s decade-old assault weapons ban, finding that the challengers failed to prove that assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines are commonly purchased and used for self-defense. [Reuters]
Last year, an ordinance in Albany, New York, made the city’s Community Police Review Board one of the most powerful community-led watchdogs in the country. But the Police Department and the city’s top attorney are blocking the board from carrying out its mandate — leaving investigators unable to review shooting incidents or hold officers accountable. [New York Focus]
After the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a number of America’s large financial institutions announced plans to back away from doing business with gun companies. Some conservative-led states reacted by enacting “anti-boycott” laws — measures that, according to law professor Dru Stevenson, essentially act as “a coerced subsidy” of the firearms industry. [Duke Center for Firearms Law]
Nearly one-third of the law enforcement agencies across the U.S. failed to submit crime data to the FBI’s database in 2022. In Florida and Pennsylvania, less than 10 percent of agencies reported data for that time period. [The Marshall Project]
The two Tennessee state lawmakers who were expelled by Republicans for participating in an anti-gun violence protest won their House seats back in a special election on Thursday. Justin Jones and Justin J. Pearson, Democrats representing Nashville and Memphis, respectively, were quickly reinstated by local officials after their expulsion, but still had to run for reelection. [NBC]
Four years after the racist massacre at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, advocacy groups serving survivors and family members of those killed say America’s immigration system has compounded the trauma of the shooting. Though victims are eligible for visas, few have been approved — leaving many without authorization to work and unable to access government assistance. [The Dallas Morning News]
Las Vegas Police appear to be making inroads in the 27-year-old investigation into the murder of Tupac Shakur. The story of his shooting and its botched aftermath, says journalist William Shaw, is rooted in racism, gangs, and police incompetence. [The Guardian]
42 percent — the proportion of young people who say they have relatively easy access to guns. [U.S. Youth Attitudes on Guns]