Gallup: 83% Blame 'Failure of Mental Health System' for Contributing to Mass Shootings

By Michael W. Chapman | September 12, 2019 | 11:31am EDT
Mass murderer James Holmes. (YouTube)

( -- Despite calls for more gun control laws in the wake of mass shootings, a new survey shows that the number one factor cited by Americans as contributing to mass shootings is the "failure of the mental health system to identify individuals who are a danger to others," reported Gallup.

Eighty-three percent of adults see that as the factor contributing "a great deal" and "a fair amount" to the problem. 

"Easy access to guns" was cited by 48% of American adults as contributing "a great deal" to mass shootings and another 21% saw it as contributing "a fair amount" to the problem. 

Mass murderer Adam Lanza.  (YouTube)

"[T]he factor Americans blame most today remains failure by the mental health system to identify people who might be a danger to others," reported Gallup on Sept. 11.  "Eighty-three percent of U.S. adults say this contributes a great deal or fair amount to mass shootings, about the same as the 80% from six years ago."


"There has also been no significant change in those rating drug use (65%) or lack of security at public buildings (62%) as highly responsible," said the survey firm. 

"[J]use one factor -- failure of the mental health system to flag dangerous people -- is seen by a majority (55%) as contributing a great deal to the problem," said Gallup.  "The spread of extremist viewpoints on the internet comes close, at 50%." (Emphasis added.)

President Donald Trump "has pointed to mental health as the key culprit, and has cited violent video games," said Gallup, "but has faced fierce resistance from public health experts and others who argue that stigmatizing mental illness isn't the answer."

In conclusion, the survey firm said, "Americans largely agree that a number of factors are to blame -- chiefly reporting by the mental health system, the dissemination of extremist views online and easy access to guns. But they also seem receptive to the arguments that drug use and inflammatory political rhetoric may stoke the flames, while inadequate security at public buildings enables crimes to occur."


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