Gun madness: Polls show public attitudes shifting against government

by WorldTribune Staff, March 2, 2018

Americans believe government inaction on threats and violent video games and movies are more to blame for mass shootings than weak gun control laws, two new polls show.

Rasmussen poll: ‘Among Americans who have children of elementary or secondary school age, 61 percent think the government is more to blame’ for mass shootings. / Getty Images

A Rasmussen Reports poll in the wake of last month’s Florida school shooting found that 54 percent of adults blame the poor response of government agencies to warning signs about Nikolas Cruz while just 33 percent blamed a lack of adequate gun control.

“Among Americans who have children of elementary or secondary school age, 61 percent think the government is more to blame. Just 23 percent of these adults fault a lack of adequate gun control more,” Rasmussen said.

A second Rasmussen poll found just over 50 percent blame violent video games and movies for “making America a more hostile place.”

A Feb. 26 report by the Parents Television Council noted that 61 percent of prime time TV shows aired during the recent sweeps week included violence and 39 percent of 287 episodes included gun violence.

In a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult polls, 50 percent of respondents said they support arming teachers in schools. Eight states currently allow armed teachers in schools, and another six are considering it.

“The survey, conducted Feb. 22-26 among a national sample of 1,992 registered voters, found 50 percent of those polled support equipping teachers and school staff with concealed firearms to respond in the event of a school shooting. Forty-two percent of voters said they do not support such a policy, which Trump has embraced following the Feb. 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Fla.,” the Morning Consult poll said.

In a separate poll, Morning Consult found Americans were critical of companies which have pulled sponsorship from the NRA.

The FBI, meanwhile, has admitted it dropped the ball on warnings about Cruz.

Dave Bowdich, deputy director of the FBI, said: “One of the key elements in prevention is empowering the public to report suspicious activity that may identify an individual prior to an event. In this case the public notified the FBI about their suspicions of the alleged shooter. If the protocol had been followed, this information should have been assessed as a potential threat to life and routed to the local field office for appropriate handling, which would have also allowed us to share the information with local authorities. That did not happen in this instance.”

Bowdich also warned state and local authorities of an increasingly dangerous “threat environment.”

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