At the same time, 62% said criminals responsible for mass shootings “would find a way around gun laws and commit these crimes, anyway’’ under stricter gun laws. By comparison, 34% said stricter gun laws would help prevent massacres like those at a recent concert in Las Vegas and a church in Texas. The political divide was sharp at 92% of Republicans claiming criminals find a way around laws, while only 38% of Democrats agreed.
Regarding the causes of mass shootings, 52% cited lack of mental health care as the biggest reason, while only 37% cited the ability to buy guns. Overall, 74% of Republicans, 55% of men, and 58% of those between the ages of 35 and 49 called it too difficult to get mental health care.
When asked if the United States would be safer if more people carried guns, 37% said safer and 55% said less safe. Among those 65 and older, 61% said less safe.
With each American gun massacre, there is stronger support for tighter gun control measures.’’
“But the cynical view prevails,” said Tim Malloy, the poll’s assistant director, “stricter laws will do no good whatsoever in a country with more guns than people.’’