While most Americans believe that firearm crimes have increased, gun homicide rates have actually plummeted over the last two decades, a new report says.
Pew Research Center released a report Tuesday showing that from 1993 to 2010, gun homicides decreased by 49 percent and other gun violence dropped 75 percent.
However, a Pew survey
conducted in March revealed that 56 percent of Americans believe that gun crimes have increased over the past 20 years, while just 12 percent said that gun violence is down.
The survey showed a large gender gap in those who believe that long-term gun crime went up. Sixty-five percent of women said that gun violence increased; 46 percent of men believed the same.
Only 44 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 29, believed that gun crime had gone up, while more than half of all other adult groups believed that it had increased.
In the short term, a total of 45 percent of Americans believe that gun crimes have gone up "in recent years."
While a lot of attention has been drawn to mass shootings since the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Pew found that killings involving three or more lives represent one percent of all homicide deaths from 1980 to 2008, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics review.
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