As we continue to hear and see the mostly knee-jerk public response to the horrific events of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the pundits continue to throw around statistical information, some good, some not so good, some of it downright incomprehensible, Rasmussen has come out with some that are at least a little more reliable and at the very least, fairly understandable.
Rasmussen reports that:
65% of American Adults think, “The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to be able to protect themselves from tyranny.”
18% are unsure
72% of those with a firearm in the family agree, but even
57% of those without a firearm agree with the above statement
54% of Democrats
75% of Republicans
68% of independents, not affiliated with either party, agree with the above
Scott Rasmussen reports that if Congress is “not willing to go as far as the President wants on gun control perhaps they …might take a stronger action on mental health issues or increase penalties for crimes committed with a gun.” However he also states that attitudes are “not likely to change in a nation where 6 out of 10 would rather live in a neighborhood where you can own a gun and most would feel safer if their children attended a school with an armed security guard.”
He also reports while there is strong support for stricter gun control (51%) in general, there is even stronger support for increased background checks and even more support for dealing with mental health issues. 59% of us believe that Congress will enact stricter gun control laws.
My humble analysis of the numbers suggests that at the very least mental health issues need to be addressed and part of that solution, meaning an increased reporting standard from mental health professionals. I think that most of us can agree this is one of the major common factors in all of these horrific events. The major failure of the mental health professionals in assessing and reporting the dangers presented by their individual clients has substantially contributed to most if not all of the mass shootings in recent history. Frankly, I can’t think of any of these mass murders where the individual involved could have been assessed as sane and still gone out and shoot at people the way they have. While I am not a professional, it’s insane behavior, no matter how you parse it, to shoot anyone in this manner. Society can not tolerate it.
I don’t see how increased penalties would help prevention, since most if not all of these killers are in suicide mode when they start their rampages. Since the penalties are already death, what more could you add on that would be effective? I would certainly entertain ideas on this point!
My personal beliefs are that the mentally unstable, in some totally messed-up way, are looking for notoriety and infamy through the media as some form of legacy. While this motivation might be debatable, it certainly seems to be a common thread for both the insane mass shootings and terrorists. I really don’t know how we can change that portion of the equation. I would like to hear from anyone who does have ideas regarding that part of it as well, you might be doing all of us a really big favor if you can figure out that one too.
There are some other numbers listed at the above listed Rasmussen report that are interesting and those might be interesting to discuss as well but these are the ones that really interest me at the moment.