Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Blame Mental-Health System for Shootings

Friday, 20 Sep 2013 01:18 PM

By Dan Weil

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Nearly half of American adults say the failure of the mental-health system to identify individuals who pose a danger to others should bare most of the blame for the mass shootings of recent years, according to a Gallup poll.

While 48 percent of the 1,023 adults polled by Gallup said mental-health problems are a "great deal" to blame for the shootings, 40 percent said easy access to guns is to blame. Meanwhile, 37 percent placed most of the blame on drug use and 32 percent cited violence in movies, video games, and music lyrics as the main culprit.

Another 29 percent blamed the shooting on the spread of extremist views on the Internet, 29 percent said insufficient security at public buildings also was to blame. Eighteen percent of respondents said the inflammatory language from prominent political commentators was a contributor to the shootings.

The survey taken Sept. 17-18, following the Washington Navy Yard shooting on Sept. 16, also found that 49 percent of respondents would like to see tougher gun-sale laws, which is down from 58 percent in a December 2012 poll conducted just after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.



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