A majority of Americans blame Congress and President Donald Trump for not doing more to prevent mass shootings, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds.
The survey – conducted in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead – also finds that significantly more Americans believe mass shootings in the United States are due more to mental health issues than inadequate gun laws.
Sixty-two percent of respondents said Trump is not doing enough to prevent mass shootings and 77% say Congress is doing an inadequate job on the issue.
Among those polled, 57% said mass shootings in the United States were more of a reflection of problems identifying and treating people with mental health problems, while 28% blamed “inadequate gun laws.” Nine percent blamed both equally. Across party lines, 77% of individuals polled said the Parkland shooting could have been prevented by more effective health screening treatment.
Police documents described the confessed shooter, Nikolas Cruz, as suffering from mental illness.
Some 58% of those polled said stricter gun control laws would have prevented the Florida shooting. Among party lines, 86% of Democrats and 57% of independents said stricter gun control would have prevented it, but only 29% of Republicans said the same thing.
There was no rise in support for a ban on assault weapons compared to two years ago. In addition, 42% of respondents said the Florida shooting could have been prevented if school teachers were allowed to carry guns.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll was conducted from February 15-18 among a random sample of 808 adults reached vial cellphone or landline with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. Among those surveyed, 31% identified as Democrat, 24% as Republican and 40% as independent.