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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report: Young Mississippians Want Stricter Gun Laws

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Wednesday, August 2, 2023   

Some 74% of young people in the U.S. believe gun violence is a problem, and 60% want to see stricter gun laws, according to a new report from American University, the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Researchers polled a representative sample of 4,100 people, ages 14 to 30.

Wyatt Russell, senior program manager and policy analyst with the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University in Washington, D.C., said a generation raised in an era where mass shootings are ubiquitous is very worried about school safety, which also contributes to a rise in anxiety and depression.

"The average young person knows at least one other person who's been injured or killed by a gun," Russell observed. "We've seen an astonishingly high 25% of youth have been in an active shooter lockdown. Not a drill. A lockdown."

A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found gun violence was the leading cause of death for kids under age 17 in 2020 and 2021, more than any other type of injury or illness, which is the highest rate in the developed world. Opponents of stricter gun laws cite concerns about personal freedom and self-defense.

Russell noted the survey found a correlation between a young person's identification with gun culture, support for male supremacy, higher levels of racial resentment, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"We're working to develop some inoculation strategies to help young people stop harmful myths and disinformation, conspiratorial thinking, and supremacist ideologies that can influence gun violence," Russell outlined. "More specifically, extremist violence, as well."

Among the young people surveyed, 40% said they have "somewhat easy" access to a gun, and 21% reported having "very easy" access.


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