Member Survey 2016
In the summer of 2016, more than 2400 members of Colorado Ceasefire, who had provided email addresses between 2013 and 2016, were invited to participate in a survey. They were asked to indicate which of 10 issues were most important for Colorado Ceasefire Outreach to address in the coming year. Colorado Ceasefire Outreach is a new part of Colorado Ceasefire created in December of 2015 to engage in community education.
The survey was administered electronically through the online program Survey Monkey. We were pleased to get 620 usable responses (a 26% response rate). Respondents were 65% female, 30% male with 5% declining to indicate. While they ranged in age from less than 21 through 71 and older, 371 (60%) of them were older than 60 years. They indicated a wide variety of political parties but 80% were Democratic. Independents were next most frequent at 12% and Republicans at 2%. Of the 587 who responded to the question about gun ownership, 516 said no, and 71 said yes. Of the respondents, 174 (28%) reported that they had had a personal experience with gun violence.
Respondents were asked to help Colorado Ceasefire Outreach develop priorities for community education by letting us know which three of the 10 issues were the most important to them. If the respondent had another issue to suggest, they indicated that and typed in the additional issue. Most respondents indicated three issues from the provided list; 99 of them wrote in an additional issue. Fourteen respondents selected only one of the issues as important. Some respondents (73) indicated more than three issues were very important with 12 indicating that all issues were very important.
In the first table below the ten issues that were listed in the survey are included in order from most often chosen to least often chosen. The entire text of the survey question, short title and brief explanation, are also provided.
The issue that was most often selected was Countering the NRA/ gun industry – 422 (68%) respondents chose this as one of their most important issues. The second most often indicated as important was educating Coloradans about Background Checks with 287 respondents choosing this issue (46%). The third and fourth issues were nearly equal with 250 indicating Mental Health and Gun Access and 246 indicated Open and concealed Carry of Firearms.
The fifth and sixth ranked issues were chosen by 203 (33%) and then 191 (31%) of the respondents and these issues have similar implications: the Myth of Self-defense and Risks of Guns in the Home. Domestic Violence / homicide was the seventh issue with 148 (24%) respondents indicating it was important. Eighth ranked issue was Gun accidents with 98 respondents selecting (16%)
Least often indicated as important were: Teen Suicide prevention and Safe Storage of Guns in the home: safe storage overlaps with the issues of Risks of Guns in the home and Gun accidents noted above.
The rankings of issues by subgroups was also explored; subgroups by gender, gun ownership, personal experience with gun violence, age and political party. The top two ranked issues by persons in each of these subgroups were the same as the group as a whole: Countering the NRA/Gun industry and Educating Coloradans about the 2013 background check laws. Either Open/ Concealed Carry and Mental Health were ranked third. The lowest ranked issues were also the same in each subgroup. The 6 issues ranked between third and eighth varied slightly in their specific rank among these groups.
There were numerous issues added by the respondents but only one that obviously concerned many of the respondents: 56, of the 99 respondents adding issues, indicated that Assault / Military / High capacity weapons should be an important concern. Table 2 contains those additional issues and the frequency with which each was offered.
Table 1. Ranking of Issues by Frequency of Selection as Important (N=620)
– Countering the NRA / gun industry – The NRA successfully enflames the public with misinformation and fear mongering. Educating the public with facts is a top priority.
– Background checks- – In 2013 Colorado passed universal background checks for all purchases and transfers of guns (except within a family). According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the background check system has prevented more than 2 million guns from getting into the wrong hands. Our aim is to educate the public about this law.
– Mental health and gun access – Currently, states are prevented from reporting relevant information about people with specific mental health issues who would be prohibited from possessing a gun. This year, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will finalize a rule to remove unnecessary legal barriers in this regard.
– Open and concealed carry of firearms — It is legal in Colorado to carry guns openly, except in certain jurisdictions like Denver. Concealed carry is currently allowed with a special permit. Many Coloradans are uncomfortable around others carrying guns in public areas where there are crowds and/or children.
– The myth of self-defense — Research shows that people with guns in their home are four times more likely to be the victims of a homicide. Safely using a gun in the home for selfdefense is much less likely.
– Risks of guns in the home (all forms) – Domestic violence, teen/adult suicides, gun accidents – all of these are avoidable through education and action.
– Domestic violence / homicide—In 2010, 16 times more females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by a male stranger. People who have been convicted of domestic violence or who have a restraining order against them are not allowed to purchase guns. However, if they already have a gun, regardless of current laws, their guns are rarely confiscated.
– Gun accidents (children’s access) – Each year, dozens of Colorado children are injured or killed by loaded guns they found in their homes or cars. This highlights the dangers of easy access to guns. Safe storage is a crucial approach to this preventable problem.
– Safe storage of guns in the home – The safe storage of guns should be as instinctive as child-proofing medication and electrical outlets. Yet, avoidable tragedies with guns continue through lack of vigilance.
– Teen suicide prevention– Colorado’s suicide rate, tragically including many teenagers, is America’s seventh-highest. Suicides can be reduced by locking guns in the home and by imposing waiting periods for purchasing guns.
Table 2. Suggested Issues from Respondents (N=99)
What other gun-related issues do you believe should be addressed by Colorado Ceasefire Outreach? Please type your issue in the space provided.
Issues Suggested Number of Respondents Suggesting
Assault Rifles, military weapons, high capacity 56 Need for Research / Data 6 Specific issues with NRA 4 Interpretation of 2nd Amend 3 Registration/Licensure 3
Issues mentioned once each:
I am tired of the “mental health issues – violent offender.” Other countries have no higher incidents of mental illness than the United States. Please take the lead on changing this narrative. Many people, including proponents and prospective proponents of gun legislation don’t know or understand the basics re: different types of guns, use, terminology, etc. Education and outreach with this type of fundamental info would help people feel they are making informed decisions and would increase strength in personal commitment and confidence in spreading the word to others about gun control. you need to compromise by letting the war on drugs “felons” a 10 year grace period Violent media and video games too much of it!! The issue of allowing localities and specific institutions to decide now to allow guns. Parents should ask if there are guns in homes when kids visit friends. My son was visiting kids down the street when I went to get him her sons pulled out 3 guns. I saw this through the window nearly had a stroke. How to socialize gun owners & users who are too fascinated by the power. Gun injury victims who often have to live with pain and PTSD. Educating the public about the difference between gun control and gun safety Having a weapon to protect myself seems to be a reasonable answer. However, with distrust of government and other authorities at an all-time high, any proposal such as reducing access to Armalite weapons is seen as one step that the neoliberals want in a series of steps. This perception has to be countered by Ceasefire and others if you want to move the needle from fear to trust. liability for harm from stolen guns if storage inadequate (home or store thefts) Gang violence Would like to discuss the possibility of eliminating private, online and gun show sales entirely. Also, waiting periods, as some foreign countries impose, of as much as one year or more. And demonstrating a NEED for concealed carry, before issuing a CC permit. promoting the comprehensive gun control by formation of militias. A new line of Property & Casualty insurance that covers guns and gun owners, very similar to what exists for personal vehicles. It would include liability, medical, comprehensive, etc. public health and approaching gun issues from a public health problem adult suicide I think that you should support a mindful “no fly no buy list” . In other words, support a formal procedure whereby a person can object to some unwarranted status. publicly funding an outdoor shooting range in Arvada/Jeffco. Ammo sales should register-detail of unusual and large volume purchases Denver gun by-back program to counter illegal guns in Denver’s gang violence suffering neighborhoods. Accessories like silencers and mega-round magazines should be banned as well.