Over Half of Americans Don't See School Shootings as a 'Guns Problem': Poll

More than half of Americans think that school shootings are caused by issues related to mental health rather than gun-related problems, according to a new study.

The Economist/YouGov poll, which surveyed 1,500 American adults between May 28 and 31, found that 51 percent agree with the statement that "school shootings are a mental health problem, not a guns problem." Meanwhile, 41 percent said they disagree with that view and 9 percent said they are unsure.

The survey findings come over a week after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos killed 19 children and two teachers using two AR-15 style rifles that he legally purchased a few days before the incident.

The Wednesday poll also found that 66 percent of respondents describe the Uvalde school shooting as "an act of violence," while 53 percent said that it was "an act of mental illness."

Forty-four percent of respondents classified the Robb Elementary School shooting as "an act of hate," and 36 percent said they view it as "an act of terrorism."

In light of taking potential gun control measures to protect schools, 62 percent said that they are in favor of having armed guards stationed at all schools, while 51 percent said they support giving teachers and school administrators the "option of being armed at school."

Relatedly, a poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group between May 25 and May 29 showed that 57.5 percent of likely general election voters believe that schools are somewhat more or much more dangerous when properly trained teachers and school staff are prevented from carrying a firearm.

Other mass shootings have unfolded across the country over the past few weeks, including the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, where 10 Black people were shot and killed by an 18-year-old white male.

Another mass shooting also happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a 45-year-old patient fatally shot his doctor and three others at St. Francis Hospital on Wednesday. The shooter, identified by the police as Michael Louis, specifically targeted Dr. Preston Phillips, who was the performing physician in Louis' back surgery earlier in May.

The shooter opened fire on his victims and allegedly killed himself afterwards, according to the police, who mentioned that Louis had a note on him saying that he wanted to kill Phillips after he had complained of back pain following the surgery and asked for medical assistance.

The recent mass shootings prompted nationwide calls for stricter gun control legislation. However, Wednesday's The Economist/YouGov poll showed that Americans are almost evenly divided on whether harsher gun laws would have prevented any of the recent mass shootings from happening.

Around 41 percent of respondents said that stricter gun laws would have prevented the shootings, while 40 percent said they wouldn't have. Meanwhile, 18 percent said that they are not sure.

Americans' view on school shootings causes
More than half of Americans attributed school shootings to mental health issues rather than gun-related problems, according to a new poll. Pictured above, students participate in a school walk-out and protest in front of City Hall to condemn gun violence, in Los Angeles, California on May 31. Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images

Also, 53 percent of respondents said they support tougher laws on the sale of handguns, compared to 10 percent who said they want less strict legislation.

When asked "how likely do you think it is that Congress will pass new legislation expanding gun control in the U.S.?", 43 percent of respondents said that it is "unlikely" or "definitely will not happen," while another 43 percent said that there might be a "50% chance" it would happen.

Some lawmakers are hoping to pass a 'Red-Flag' law that would allow authorities to temporarily remove firearms from people who are believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

Meanwhile, The Economist/YouGov poll showed that Americans support other forms of gun control policies, as 79 percent said that people with a history of mental illness should be prevented from owning guns.

Additionally, 75 percent of respondents said that criminal and background checks should be required for all those purchasing guns, and 55 percent said they are in favor of banning semi-automatic weapons.