Avvo study shows Westerners believe they can protect themselves better than the police


A study conducted by Avvo to determine public attitudes around national personal safety found 38% of people living in the West region believe they could protect themselves with a gun if in danger; meanwhile, only 32% say the police succeed at keeping them safe.

Avvo designed their survey to better understand Americans’ opinions on beliefs surrounding personal safety, gun ownership and the justice system. While the West seems to skew toward personal protection over the reliance on law enforcement, police officers are still highly respected, with 69% saying they respect police officers. Only doctors, teachers and pilots were respected more highly in the region.

Moreover, less than a quarter of Westerners (23%) say they have very little or no trust in the police, while 15% said they trust the police completely. Also, only 9% of Westerners indicate they would not go to the police if someone harmed them or their family.

Still, the data shows that Westerners see gun ownership as a protective safety measure. 41% of Western gun owners saying they purchased their gun for self-protection, while protecting one’s family was the top purchase reason for 34% of Western gun owners. Overall, a full 29% of Westerners report owning a firearm. 17% of Westerners—and 39% of Western gun owners—agree that if more people owned guns we’d all be safer.

Avvo conducts periodic studies to try and better understand the dynamics facing individuals engaging with attorneys and the legal system. These are findings from a poll conducted in late August and early September 2015. Read more about the study, and get more regional detail below: