College students opinions on gun violence

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Lewis, Rhonda K.
LoCurto, Jamie
Brown, Kyrah K.
Stowell, David
Maryman, J'Vonnah
Dean, Amber K.
McNair, Thoi
Ojeda, Deborah
Siwierka, Julia K.

Lewis-Moss, Rhonda K.; LoCurto, Jamie; Brown, Kyrah K.; Stowell, David; Maryman, J'Vonnah; Dean, Amber K.; McNair, Thoi; Ojeda, Deborah; Siwierka, Julia K. 2016. College students opinions on gun violence. Journal of Community Health, vol. 41:no. 3:pp 482-487


Gun violence and control issues have become serious public health problems. This study gathered the opinions from 419 college students from a Midwestern University. Participants were asked about beliefs about purchasing assault weapons, beliefs about bringing handguns to college campuses and beliefs about contributing factors that lead to gun violence. Participants completed surveys online. The findings showed that overall 54 % of respondents believed that military assault weapons should be banned and 53 % agree that teachers should be allowed to carry a registered handgun on campus. There were statistically significant differences between males and females on these issues. For instance, females believed military assault weapons and high capacity magazines should be banned more than 1.9 times (p = .004) p < .05 compared to male students. On the other hand, female students were more likely to believe that school teachers should be allowed to carry registered handguns on school campuses more than 1.55 times (p = .046) p < .05 compared to their male student counterparts. There were no statistically significant differences between ethnic groups. The top four contributing factors that students believed led to gun violence were decline in parenting and family values (17 %), gang involvement (14 %), bullying (13.8 %) and guns being easy to obtain (13.8 %). Limitations and implications for policy work are discussed.

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