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APPEARS IN First Things First
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Poll Says Americans Blame Mental Health System, Not Gun Laws

Democratic candidates are keen to try and make gun violence a core issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, but where does the American public stand? According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, voters decry gun-related violence but don’t feel that gun-control legislation is the solution. Fully 82 percent say gun violence is a serious issue in the United States, and 58 percent call it a “very serious” problem, but 47 percent believe that protecting gun rights should be the top priority.

Furthermore, while many have called for stricter gun laws in the wake of mass shooting incidents, the Post-ABC poll finds that the majority point to mental health issues. Based on the survey’s findings, more people say mass shootings reflect problems identifying and treating people with mental health problems rather than inadequate gun-control laws, and by a more than 2-to-1 margin (63 percent to 23 percent).