The easy availability of guns is one factor that enables mass shootings like the horrific killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We discussed that conclusion from Harvard yesterday.
Today, let’s look at what else seems to contribute to suicidal mass killings:
Three factors appear to drive such behavior, according to criminal justice expert Adam Lankford. He summarized his findings in the New York Times. The three are mental health problems, a strong sense of victimization, and the “desire to acquire fame and glory through killing.”
Public opinion has swung in favor of gun control to prevent mass shootings like Sandy Hook, but public opinion also points to mental health factors, according to a new Gallup survey. Eighty-four percent of Americans believe that “increased government spending on mental health screening and treatment” would be very or somewhat effective as preventatives.
Even more (87%) say that having greater police presence at schools would help.
How about arming school officials? Sixty-four percent think that having at least one armed school official at each school would be an effective approach.
Three quarters (78%) say we need to reduce the depiction of gun violence on TV, in movies, and in video games.
A clear majority (63%) believe that banning the sale of semi-automatic and assault weapons would be very or somewhat effective, too. But it’s interesting to see that there is less support for this type of gun control than for the other approaches described here.
What approaches do you think would be the most effective?
Do we need to try all of them?
Please, leave a Comment below.
Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.