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December 19, 2012

Poll says more cops, more mental health better fix than weapons ban

A Gallup poll out today shows Americans believe more police in schools, more government spending on mental health services and less gun violence on TV and in the movies would be effective in preventing mass shootings at schools.

The effectiveness of a ban on assault and semi-automatic guns -- such as that endorsed by President Obama -- placed fourth on a list of six actions Gallup asked about.

A question included in Gallup Daily tracking on Dec. 18 listed six possible preventative actions. Respondents were asked to rate the effectiveness of each in terms of "preventing mass shootings at schools, like the one that occurred in Connecticut last week."

42 percent of Americans say that banning the sale of semi-automatic weapons would be "very effective" in preventing mass shootings. Another 21 percent say such actions would be "somewhat effective," and 36 percent say they would be "not effective."

Slightly more than half -- 53 percent -- of Americans say that increased police presence would be "very effective." This action is at the top of the effectiveness list.


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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