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DC Mass Shooting Prompts Surprising Gun Control Reactions

Americans have strong reactions following the terrible mass shooting at the Washington, DC Navy Yard on Monday – but not necessarily in the way you might think … 

  • Despite this week’s mass shooting, support for stricter gun control continues to fall, and opposition is at its highest level in over a year.
  • Following the Connecticut school shootings in December, more than half of women supported stricter gun control laws. Following the DC shootings, female support for tougher gun laws is down 15 points, while opposition has grown by seven points.
  • Wonder why Congress can’t pass any gun control legislation? A strong majority of Americans who oppose stricter gun control laws don't trust the government to enforce those laws fairly, and more than one-third of those who want tougher anti-gun laws agree.
  • In late December, Democrats were more likely to look to gun control than mental health treatment to prevent mass shootings. Now, that's reversed: Democrats put increased mental health treatment first.
  • Republicans and unaffiliated Americans believe more strongly than ever that more mental health treatment is the way to limit mass shooting incidents.
  • Most Americans who oppose stricter gun control think the media covers mass shootings too much. Those who support tougher gun control are evenly divided over whether the media covers the shootings too much or just about right.



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The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on September 17-18, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.

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