The NRA bases its arguments on dangerous false assumptions, but many in the media still take these talking points as fact, which confuses the public.
In order to address long-standing misconceptions about gun ownership and gun safety, David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, began sending monthly surveys to the authors of peer-reviewed journals focused on public health and policy, sociology, and criminology in May 2014 “with questions concerning firearm use, background checks, and other gun policies. The Harvard team has completed nine surveys so far, with about 100 researchers responding to each: They show that a clear majority of experts do not buy the NRA’s arguments,” writes Mother Jones‘s Julia Lurie.
Hemenway plans to compile the findings later this year. Here are some of the survey results:
Do you think having a gun in the house makes it a safer or more dangerous place to be?
Neutral/It depends: 32%
More dangerous: 64%
Strong gun laws help reduce homicide.
Neutral/Don’t know: 18%
The change in state-level concealed carry laws in the United States over the past few decades from more restrictive to more permissive has reduced crime rates.
Neutral/Don’t know: 29%
In the United States, guns are used in self-defense far more often than they are used in crime.
Neutral/Don’t know: 20%
In the United States, having a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide.
Neutral/Don’t know: 8%