HE MAJORITY OF THE U.S. blames President Donald Trump and Congress for inaction to prevent mass shootings, but Americans are still split on how to do just that, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds.
The poll was issued in the wake of a Valentine’s Day mass school shooting that killed 17 students and teachers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
An overwhelming 77 percent of respondents said more effective mental health screening and treatment could have prevented the massacre, while 58 percent of those surveyed said stricter gun control laws would have been effective deterrents. Further, 42 percent indicated that the Florida shooting could have been averted if school teachers were allowed to carry guns.
Yet, the majority – 57 percent – of respondents said mass shootings in America are a reflection of inadequate identification and treatment of people with mental health problems, while 28 percent blamed these events on inadequate gun control laws and nine percent said both are responsible.
With a huge call to action, 77 percent of those surveyed said Congress is not doing enough about the issue, while 62 percent said the president is inadequately acting to prevent future mass shootings. Notably, support for a ban on assault weapons did not change from respondents’ stance in 2016, with a near-even split of 50 percent in support to 46 percent opposed.
In English and Spanish, a random national sample of 808 adults were interviewed by phone from Feb. 15 to Feb. 18. Results have a margin of sampling error of 4.0 points. Partisan divisions are 31-24-40 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents, according to ABC News.