A survey published Sunday shows that nearly half of Republican voters in the United States believe mass shootings of the kind that took the lives of 19 young children Uvalde, Texas last month are “unfortunately something we have to accept as part of a free society.”
According to the CBS/YouGov poll, 44% of GOP voters and 15% of Democratic voters feel that frequent mass shootings are an inescapable reality in the U.S., where there are more guns than people.
That view appears to be out of step with the vast majority of U.S. society, however. The new survey shows that U.S. adults overall—regardless of party or political affiliation—believe by a 72% to 28% margin that mass shootings are “something we can prevent and stop if we really tried.”
More specifically, the poll found that 62% of U.S. adults support a nationwide ban on AR-15s. But despite the proposal’s popularity, it is not even on the table in the latest round of congressional gun control negotiations due to overwhelming GOP opposition.
In response to the survey results, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.—chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus—described the view that nothing can be done to stop mass shootings as “a radical and disgusting stance.”
“I cannot accept children being gunned down in classrooms and mass shootings in grocery stores, salons, and places of worship,” Jayapal wrote in a Twitter post on Monday.
Former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner added, “I’m sorry, but living with the threat of random mass violence isn’t freedom.”
An estimated 33 mass shootings have occurred across the U.S. since a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24.
Just this past weekend, as NPR reported, “a string of shootings left at least 15 people dead and more than 60 others wounded in eight states.”