Almost 50% of blacks knew someone killed by gun - poll

© Ralph D. Freso
Nearly 50 percent of black Americans personally knew a fatal gun shooting victim, more than twice as many as whites, a new poll has revealed. At the same time, white Americans are twice as likely to own a gun as blacks.

The results come from a recent online survey conducted by UK-based YouGov and the Huffington Post, which polled 1,000 Americans over 18 years of age from October 6 – 7. 

When asked if they had personally known someone who was killed by another person with a gun, 22 percent of respondents gave a positive answer. The number includes 6 percent of Americans who had a relative that was fatally shot. The statistics also show that 47 percent of blacks knew someone who was killed by a gun, while 18 percent of whites did. 

It appears from the poll that white Americans are twice as likely to personally own a gun as black Americans. The results show 28 percent versus 14 percent, respectively, for whites and blacks.

Still, the majority of respondents (58 percent) said that no one in their household owns a gun. Black families appear less likely to keep a gun than white families, with 72 percent of black homes gun-less compared to 54 percent of white homes.

The results showed that 27 percent of Americans (31 percent white and 29 percent black) personally knew someone who committed suicide using a gun.

Overall, however, more than half of Americans (55 percent) agreed that gun violence presents a “very serious” problem, while another 26 percent consider the issue “somewhat serious.” There was also a gap in statistics between whites and blacks on this issue – 50 percent versus 74 percent.

The survey comes amid intensified debate on gun control in the aftermath of a mass shooting in Oregon. In 2015, the US saw nearly 300 mass shootings and almost 10,000 people killed by guns, according to Mass Shooting Tracker, which defines a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people shot.