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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gallup: Americans Favor Police Presence, Mental Health Screenings Over Gun Control To Stop Shootings

By Susan Duclos

Gallup polled Americans on what they believe would help prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown Connecticut, which resulted in 26 deaths, 20 of them young children.

An increased police presence at schools garnered the most support with 53 percent saying it would be very effective and 34 percent believing it would be somewhat effective.

The second option that garnered the most support was increased government spending on mental health screening and treatment.

Gun control via banning the sale of assault and semi-automatic guns came in fourth place out of six options.

Click image to enlarge

Within Gallup's bottom line, we see that Americans favor the police presence and dealing with mental health issues because they do not think that stricter gun laws would have prevented the tragic shooting, with half believing stricter gun laws would have had no effect.

Gallup polling conducted after previous high-profile incidents of gun-related mass shootings has shown similar attitudes in relationship to gun control. Open-ended questions asked after the tragic incidents at Virginia Tech and in Tucson, Ariz., found that respondents were more likely to suggest means of preventing these shootings that did not involve gun control than to mention preventative steps that did involve gun control.

More recently, a CBS News poll conducted after Friday's shootings found that only 26% of Americans said that stricter gun laws would have done a lot to prevent the Newtown shootings. Half said stricter laws would have had no effect.



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