A recent NBC/WSJ poll shows that more people blame bad parenting and Hollywood for mass public shootings than guns themselves. The results display that the massive public relations campaign to convince people that inanimate objects or society are more to blame more than individuals or their particular family backgrounds has not been very successful.
The wording of the question, polled of 1000 respondents (300 by cellphone):
Now, I’m going to list several items and would like you to tell me how much responsibility — if any— each item might bear for the mass-shootings that have taken place over the last year or two in Tucson, Arizona; Aurora, Colorado; and Newtown, Connecticut – a great deal, a good amount, not too much, or none at all?
Americans place more blame for mass shootings on parents and Hollywood than they do on guns, a surprising new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reveals. [...]
The top choice was “parents not paying enough attention to what is going on in their children’s lives” — 83 percent said that was “a great deal” or a “good amount” responsible. Only 4 percent said “none at all.”
The second highest selection was inadequate treatment for mental illness. This was followed by media coverage at third, and then “movies, television programs, and video games that portray violence and violent behavior,” at a rate of 62 percent. Again, the evidence supporting the view that movies, music and video games promote a more actually violent culture is thin at best.
Most importantly, guns themselves were blamed the fifth most at 59 percent, the rate of people who agreed that “assault and military-style firearms being legal to purchase,” and “the availability of high capacity ammunition clips” contributed to the occurrence of mass public shootings.
The bad parenting link is one of the most persuasive factors in determining whether or not a person will display characteristics that lead to “rampage killings.” As one of the largest scientific studies on multiple victim public murders at the time found:
Cultural influences on this group, such as violent entertainment, seemed to have little impact… Many never received treatment for mental disorders or were not monitored to keep them on their medication. Most of their rampage attacks were not sudden, impulsive acts but the culmination of years of rage, depression and mental illness. Often the failure of families, co-workers and even therapists to deal with warning signs led to catastrophic consequences.
The article recommends that “it may be prudent for states to do background checks that are limited to involuntary commitment orders and do not delve into other mental health records.” Then it predictably concludes, without providing evidence or reasoning, to the familiar left-wing appeal:
“Even such precautions are not complete solutions. That is why the nation needs tighter gun control laws for everyone.”
The bottom line is that stricter gun control laws do not reduce violent crime, regardless of how one feels about firearms. The left have been trying for decades to get Americans’ self-defense rights limited, typically by holding up a scientific facade, while making arguments that play on uninformed intuition and blanket emotion.