The debate over gun control has ramped up in the wake of the tragic Parkland, Florida shooting. What do Americans consider the main causes of mass shootings? According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, 57% of all adults consider mass shootings to reflect “problems identifying and treating people with mental health problems,” while 28% say they reflect inadequate gun control laws, 9% say both, and 2% say neither.
Breaking down the demographics, 80% of Republicans, 33% of Democrats, 62% of Independents, 58% of those ages 18-29 years old, 58% of those 30-64 years old, and 53% of those 65 years old or older say these tragic shootings reflect problems identifying and treating people with mental health issues. Eleven percent of Republicans, 52% of Democrats, 23% of independents, 27% of those ages 18-29 years old, 28% of those 30-64 years old, and 29% of those 65 years old and up think inadequate gun laws are the cause.
President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and other elected officials have started the conversation on what state and federal government must do to address these horrific tragedies and prevent them in the future. Meanwhile, there are those in the political sphere and media that use these heartbreaking events to push a particular agenda. These numbers reflect Americans – of all ages and political backgrounds – desire an honest, comprehensive discussion that focuses on causes and solutions.