This is a pretty incredible survey of over 15,000 “verified law enforcement professionals” in March. (Note: I do not know if this study is in dispute or if anyone else is trying to discredit it. But it’s a fascinating addition to the conversation.)
Among the findings:
• Asked if a federal ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds would reduce violent crime, only 2.7% said yes, to 95.7% no.
• Only 7.6% thought a ban on so-called assault weapons would reduce violent crime; 71% thought it wouldn’t help, and 20.5% thought it would aggravate the problem.
• On the more general question of what effect the White House’s suite of gun restrictions would have on the safety of police officers, only 11.6% said it would help; 60.6% thought it would have no effect, and 24.6% thought it would make cops less safe.
• Asked what the likely outcome would have been at Aurora and Newtown had a legally armed civilian been on the scene, 80% said it would have meant fewer casualties and 6.2% said it would have prevented casualties altogether. Only 5.5% said it would have led to greater loss of life.
• Asked which measure would help most in preventing large-scale public shootings, a plurality (28.8%) said more-permissive concealed-carry policies for civilians. The second and third choices were also not on the Obama agenda: more-aggressive institutionalization of the mentally ill (19.6%) and more armed guards (15.8%). Only then do we get improved background screening for gun purchasers, (14%), followed by longer prison terms for gun-related violent crimes (7.9%). Bringing up the rear were tighter limits on weapons sales (1.5%) and legislative restrictions on “assault weapons” and magazines (0.9%).
Yes. We need to care for the mentally ill first.