April 17 (UPI) — More than two months after the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school, many Americans no longer think guns or gun control make up the nation’s most important problem, according to results from a new Gallup poll.
Instead, the poll’s respondents more frequently identified government dissatisfaction, immigration and race relations as the nation’s most important problem, results show.
Guns or gun control was the fourth most common answer, mentioned as the most important problem facing the country in 6 percent of answers. The top issue, government dissatisfaction, was cited 23 percent of the time. Immigration and race relations had rates of 11 and 7 percent, respectively.
The issue of guns and gun control fell to 6 percent in April after hitting a record high of 13 percent in March — possibly due to a wave of activism and media coverage following the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14.
“In the immediate aftermath of this event, public opinion regarding gun control shifted significantly,” Gallup said.
According to Gallup, it’s common for support to rise, then quickly fall, after a mass shooting.
“But it remains to be seen how long-lasting these changes in Americans’ attitudes will prove to be,” Gallup said. “Past shootings, such as the 2012 incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School, have changed at least some aspect of public opinion related to gun control, but these effects have tended to be temporary.”
Democrats and Republicans lost concern over gun control at roughly equal levels, which Gallup said suggests “the issue is losing some of its potency with both major parties.”
“The fact that mentions of guns dropped among both Republicans and Democrats, and at nearly equal measures, could pose challenges for the continued viability of this topic as a national issue,” the study said.
The April Gallup poll contacted 1,015 adults, aged 18 and older, in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., between April 2-11. Its margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.