Poll: Public Divided On Significance Of Newtown Shootings

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A Pew poll released Monday shows that the public is divided over whether the Newtown shootings are indicative of broader problems in society. A release from the polling center says, in part:

\”The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Dec. 14-16 among 746 adults, finds the public is evenly divided over whether the Newtown shootings reflect broader problems in Americans society (47%) or are just the acts of troubled individuals (44%).\”

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16 thoughts on “Poll: Public Divided On Significance Of Newtown Shootings

  1. sondra

    We have to be careful of so many rhetorical fallacies in debating this particular issue and the issue of such mass shootings at large. We need to avoid appeal to probability: That something could happen, means it will happen. We need to avoid argument from ignorance, assuming a claim is true because it has not or cannot be proven false, through dialogue based on peer reviewed research studies. Similarly we need to avoid argument from silence or begging the question. Of course, correlation proves causation is always difficult to avoid in these types of discussions, as is fallacy of composition,fallacy of division and fallacy of many questions. If by whiskey fallacies are unavoidable in our political system, but should be identified and managed in the context of the debate. We need to vehemently avoid the fallacy of a single cause, which I think will be the most dangerous fallacy in this debate. Sadly we have already begun to experience a most dangerous of faulty generalizations, perpetuated upon us by the hyper reality media, the generalization of misleading vividness. This sadly will mute out any logical and viable debate.
    With all the areas of risk in debate and potential for derailment of this important, critical issue, the question now becomes are we, as a society, up for this task?

  2. Richard

    The 3 most likely to pass proposals–the assault weapon ban, the 10-round cartridge limit, the gun show and loophole registration requirements — would leave the young Mr. Lanza with 4 to 6 of Mama’s Glocks (or Glock equivalents) and enough 10-round clips to do the same damage.

    As far as Lieberman forming a commission to speak about media violence and video shooter games– we’ve been there before with Tipper Gore.

    The mental illness registration ban is likely to meet challenges as being overly broad and stigmatizing and counter-productive.

    A rewrite of the Second Amendment won’t happen so there we are.

    And none of this addresses the problem of illegal guns most commonly used in the 120 or so yearly gun homicides in CT. Those round ups are hampered by a variety of civil rights laws to protect minority profiling.

    I doubt we get any deeper than that in analyzing broader social meaning.

    1. Matt from CT

      And we have a real-world incident to show what such pistols could do.

      1996, Dunblane, Scotland.

      One shooter, two revolvers (six rounds a piece), two semi-automatic pistols (13 round a piece).

      17 students and teachers dead.

      It’s not the big, scary looking guns — an assault weapon ban is just feel-good legislation.

      It’s not capacity. Magazines can be swapped very quickly. There’s not a meaningful difference between 10 round or 13 round capacities.

      I do not see it being politically possible for a ban on all removable magazine weapons to go through, and that’s the only thing that might somewhat slow down a mass shooting. The difference between firing 20 rounds from two 10 round magazine or a single 20 round magazine is a second, second and a half longer with two magazines.

      The weapons used in Dunblane are well within what would be considered adequate and necessary handguns for personal self defense — a Constitutionally protected right in the U.S.

      (It is also recognized, interestingly, in Northern Ireland where one may still get a permit to carry such weapons for self defense, whereas the U.K. has eliminated self defense as a reason to own firearms in Great Britain proper.)

      So the upshot is this:
      Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

      And we’re not legally or politically capable of taking the draconian steps necessary to prevent tragedies like Newtown from repeating simply by mass confiscation of firearms.

      So stop wasting the time on gun control, no matter how emotionally satisfying it is to some people to advocate for it, and work on the side of the equation we CAN make quick agreement on and move forward with — the people side.

      Improved education, improved social safety nets, and ensuring that when mental health services fail that a strong criminal justice system is in place as a back stop of last resort (unlike it is too often now, the main treatment option for far too many ill persons).

  3. America Is Dying

    How is The War On Drugs Working? Apply that to Gun Control. Brain Washed American Sheep!

    “Adam had a lot of mental problems.” It’s time to address mental illness and Not Gun Control! Just like The War On Drugs is working? Lockup people with mental illness and addiction instead of addressing the root of problem.

  4. terrapin

    Since the gun lobby feels the Second Amendment is sacrosanct and not to be tampered with, how about this: you are free to have the single shot muzzle loaders that were the state of the art in 1780 when it was written and you turn in the semi-automatics and anything with a magazine.

    1. Jimmy Boggs

      It’s humorous and I like it. But repeal of the 2nd amendment has as much chance. I will fight for repeal.

    2. Matt from CT

      So you would support laws that Government may censor anything published not using a single page at a time printing press?

      Same logic. You can’t restrict one amendment to the technology of the time without accepting that all amendments only protect the technology of the time of their adoption.

    3. SuperDave

      The second amendment should be repealed. It is outdated for its purpose. Another amendment, or law, needs to be inacted. The real issue is adults being irresponsible with weapons. I laugh when they try to equate guns to knives and cars. Guns only kill. Period. You can’t cut a thick juicy steak with a gun, or use it as transportation. Just more twisted logic by the gun nut lobby.

      1. johngaltwhereru

        Well, there is a process available to repeal the Second Amendment.

        First, 2/3rds of the US House and US Senate can vote to amend that Constitutional right. Then, 3/4ths of the States can ratify that Amendment.

        Or we could just let a vocal minority shred the Bill of Rights the way Liberals have with the 1st,9th, 10th and 18th Amendments, along with other Liberal pet regulations that circumvent the Constitution to remove individual liberty.

        Of course, unless you also want to eliminate elections, you must be prepared for a hardline right wing religious conservative administration to be allowed to disregard the Constitution as well.

        How does no abortions, daily prayer in public schools, a ban on alcohol, mandatory Sunday Church attendance and jail time for being gay or getting divorced sound?

  5. Reginald Allard Jr

    President Obama ‘believes’ that there is an ‘unseen’ eternal house of glory wherein now resides the Sandy Hook Elementary school innocents. He believes that those who sacrificed their lives against unconscionable evil to protect the innocent now reside in this ‘unseen’ house. He believes that laws will not eliminate evil.

    I believe that there were two calls allowed by government. One ‘call’ was made to God. The second call was made to the ‘good guys’. The 911 first responders. Neither arrived in time.

    Government, by their existing laws told the innocents, wait for the good guys, they will protect you.
    Ponder this! “There generally is no duty that obligates police officers to aid or to protect another party. Restatement (Second), Torts § 314, p. 116 (1965). One exception to this general rule arises when a definite relationship between the parties is of such a character that public policy justifies the imposition of a duty to aid or to protect another. W. Prosser & W. Keeton, Torts (5th Ed. 1984) § 56, pp. 373–74; see also 2 Restatement (Second), supra, §§ 314A, 315 . . . .in the absence of a special relationship of custody or control, there is no duty to protect a third person from the conduct of another. . . .’’

    Am I safe? There is sufficient evidence that hugs, tears, prayers, and candles do not stop evil. When I am alone with ‘evil’, am I safe?

  6. Midwesterner

    I resent the idea that I should have to arm myself to keep my family safe because gun “enthusiasts” don’t want anything to impede their ability to own as many guns as possible. And as far as those who say things like “if the principal was able to have a gun at the school . . . ” two shootings in the past couple years took place in Colorado and Arizona, states with some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation. In neither situation did ANYONE happen to have a gun to take out the assailant. Most of us don’t own guns. Most of us don’t want to own guns. And I bet most people don’t want to see everyone, everywhere they go toting a firearm.

  7. Jimmy Boggs

    In this example, the libertarian ideal has no place. With drugs, then the user becomes his own victim. A firearm is generally not directed at oneself. Repeal of the 2nd is the only viable solution. While the chances of progress are slim, the goal is recall.

  8. PmatfromCT

    As tragic as this most assuradley is, lets not forget what the 2nd amendment was also meant to address. The fear that our newly formed government would become a tyrannical carbon copy of the English monarchy. An armed citizenry is an essential deterrent against such tyranny. This right is no less important than any of the other 9 bill of rights amendments. We need to spend our efforts taking care of the mentally ill and disposessed. Not curbing the rights of the vast majority of law abiding Americans.

  9. Bill D

    It seems to me that evrybody who has a pet cause blames some other problem in an effort to distract people away from their particular cause. There is a problem with mentally disturbed people, there is too much violence in our TV, Movies, video games and there are way too many guns in the country available to the wrong people. Each of these problems needs to be addressed. I cannot believe that the only answer the pro-gun people have been able to offer up is “MORE GUNS” That is absolutely nonsensical. That is like saying that to cure the drug problem we need more drugs. I think the NRA/Gun Lobby needs to wise up and make some sort of concessions here. If the killings continue and public opinion moves overwhelmingly in favor of gun control, they may find themselves using a flintlock to protect the house or maybe the Gov’t will come pry their guns from from their hands. And don’t think I am some over the top liberal, I am a gun owner and licensed hunter. At the same time, I am also a father who lives in Ct. You have to think what is more important, your guns or your family. I choose my family.

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