Police Presence and Mental Health are Key Concerns Regarding School Violence

In response to the school shooting in Newton, Connecticut, Gallup asked Americans what they thought would be the most effective in a series of options to curb similar violence.  The top three choices show that the majority of respondents think that increasing police presence, increasing mental health screening and treatment, and decreasing gun violence in the media should be key concerns of policymakers that are responding to the tragedy in Connecticut.

The ensuing debate has centered on gun control and this poll reveals more contention on this issue, as compared with the top three responses.  42% believe that banning the sale of assault and semi-automatic guns would be "very effective," while only 21% think it would be "somewhat effective" and 36% see such control as "not effective."

This contention carries into partisan lines, as 61% of Democrats view gun control as very effective, while only 26% of Republicans feel similarly.  Similarly, mental health carried partisan trends, with Democrats more strongly supporting mental health screening and treatment than Republicans (67% to 35%).  Republicans on the other hand tended to support decreasing depictions of violence in the media and having at least one school official carry a gun (55% and 49%, respectively), when compared with Democrats (44%, 27%).
SSDAN Office

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