Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | Polls | gun violence | problem | mental health | gun laws

Poll: Americans Divided on How to Address Gun Violence

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By    |   Monday, 26 Oct 2015 09:41 AM

Americans widely agree gun violence is a problem, but are divided on how to address it, including on whether it's more of an issue of poor mental health care or inadequate gun laws, a new poll shows.

The Washington Post-ABC News
survey, released Monday, finds an almost even split on gun laws versus gun rights, with 46 percent saying new laws to cut gun violence should be a bigger priority, and 47 percent saying it's more important to protect the right to own arms.

That's narrowed from a 52-40 percent preference for new laws in April 2013, four months after the Sandy Hook shootings, ABC News notes.

The poll, however, finds a whopping 82 percent calling gun violence a serious problem, with 58 percent saying it's very serious.

It also shows 63 percent saying mass shootings — like the recent slayings of nine people at a community college in Roseberg, Ore. — are more of a reflection of problems in how mental health issues are addressed, versus 23 percent who say it's the result of poor gun control.

The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Other results of the survey show that:
  • Among people who see mass shootings as a mental health issue, 30 percent prioritize enacting new anti-gun violence laws, while 62 percent prefer protecting gun rights.
  • Among respondents who see shootings as a reflection of inadequate gun control, 79 percent want more laws against gun violence, while only 18 percent say it's more important to protect the right to own guns.
  • Seven in 10 Democrats prefer enacting new gun laws while the same share of Republicans prioritize protecting gun rights. Independents divide 50-43 percent for gun rights rather than gun laws.
  • 82 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of independents and just 46 percent of Democrats blame mass shootings on mental health care failures rather than inadequate gun control.

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Americans widely agree gun violence is a problem, but are divided on how to address it, including on whether it's more of an issue of poor mental health care or inadequate gun laws, a new poll shows.
gun violence, problem, mental health, gun laws
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2015-41-26
Monday, 26 Oct 2015 09:41 AM
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