It’s the government’s fault, say many Americans.
Specifically, more than half of Americans blame the government’s ineptitude and inaction more than they blame guns for recent mass shootings across the country, according to a poll released Tuesday by Rasmussen Reports.
After suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 victims at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, gun control activists renewed their calls for legislation that would infringe upon Americans’ Second Amendment rights. But the Rasmussen poll revealed a majority of Americans don’t think guns themselves are the main problem.
Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults said “the failure of government agencies to respond to numerous warning signs from the prospective killer” was more to blame for the Parkland massacre. Just 33 percent said “the lack of adequate gun control” measures was more to blame.
Sixty-one percent of American adults who have school-aged children blame the government the most for the Parkland shooting, while just 23 percent blame the lack of gun control laws.
Although 41 percent of Americans think stricter gun regulations would be the most effective way to reduce mass shootings, a close 40 percent say addressing mental health issues will do more.
Roughly 75 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats believe the government is more to blame for mass shootings. Fifty percent of Democrats pin more of the blame on the lack of gun control legislation.
After the shooting, the FBI apologized for not following up on a January 5 tip alleging that Cruz was contemplating “getting into a school and just shooting the place up.”
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office also fielded Florida’s wrath when reports revealed that several deputies at the school did not enter the building during the shooting.
Rasmussen conducted its survey among 1,000 American adults from February 25 to 26.
The poll surfaced as lawmakers continue to struggle with how best to respond to the Parkland high school tragedy and its aftermath. President Donald trump signaled his willingness to work with both Democrats and Republicans in passing legislation that could prevent future mass shootings. But Trump alarmed the National Rifle Association (NRA) and GOP lawmakers when he appeared to side with stricter gun control regulations offered up by Democrats on Wednesday during a bipartisan congressional meeting.
At the meeting, Trump accused Republicans of being “afraid of the NRA.”
“Some of you people are petrified of the NRA. You can’t be petrified,” Trump emphasized.
In response, the NRA issued a statement that said, in part, “While today’s meeting made for great TV, the gun control proposals discussed would make for bad policy that would not keep our children safe,” according to CNN.
“Instead of punishing law-abiding gun owners for the acts of a deranged lunatic, our leaders should pass meaningful reforms that would actually prevent future tragedies,” the statement continued.