Friday, March 15, 2013

PBS newshour series on gun violence (5)

PBS Newshour recently ran a series of reports focusing on gun violence, collected at their page on The Gun Debate. These are their reports from 02/22/2013, the final day of the consecutive weekday series of reports.

Christina Bellantoni, President's Campaign Arm Making Gun Control Push, of which the latter part deals with issues other than gun violence. It includes a copy of a public-service persuasion spot from a group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, titled Moms Demand A Plan:

Jason Kane, Reading, Writing, Therapy, a report on anger management training for school kids.

Elizabeth Shell, What Democrats and the NRA May Have in Common over Gun Policy. Being skeptical of the Democrats' determination on this issue, this headline makes me think, "What do they have in common? Wanting to make the gun regulation issue go away?"

But the article is about support for various gun regulation options among the general public, not among members of Congress. It cites and discusses a report by Colleen Barry et al, After Newtown — Public Opinion on Gun Policy and Mental Illness New England Journal of Medicine 01/28/2013. Their findings seem pretty ambiguous to me. From the New England Journal of Medicine piece:

Findings from these surveys indicate high support among Americans — including gun-owners, in many cases — for a range of policies aimed at reducing gun violence. Gun policies with the highest support included those related to persons with mental illness. The majority of Americans apparently also support increasing government spending on mental health treatment as a strategy for reducing gun violence. Given the data on public attitudes about persons with mental illness, it is worth thinking carefully about how to implement effective gun-violence–prevention measures without exacerbating stigma or discouraging people from seeking treatment.
They were surveying specifically about attitudes about guns and the mentally ill. But spotlighting mental illness was also a key focus in NRA leader Wayne LaPierre's infamous speech of 12/21/2012 after the Sandy Hook school massacre, which predated the survey. So the NRA's position may be muddying their results.

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