WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new poll shows the majority of Americans believe it is more important to control gun violence than to protect gun rights, according to the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist.
However, as Congressional Democrats push for gun safety laws this week, Republicans, like California Congressman Ken Calvert, R-CA 42nd District, are pushing back.
Calvert said the American people and Congress need to look beyond gun control and rather at certain aspects in the community that could have a negative effect on society. He represents Riverside County in the Inland Empire, which includes Corona and Lake Elsinore, southeast of Los Angeles.
According to Calvert, during his 27 years on the hill, lawmakers have passed many laws like background checks and limitations for how people acquire certain types of weapons. But he said it seems none of them have helped and that gun violence continues to go up. Calvert believes big parts of the problem are violent video games and how people have lost faith.
“It seems like the cost of human life, it’s not just mass shootings, what’s going on in Chicago, what’s going on in Los Angeles is I think a loss of religious concerns,” Calvert said. “I think these video games are extremely violent. There’s a number of things that are happening with our culture that we ought to look at also and I think has much more of an effect on what's happening in our society today.”
The new poll surveyed over 1,300 men and women from both parties, with roughly less than half as gun owners.
- 89 percent want increased funding to address mental health screenings and treatments
- 83 percent want background checks for gun shows and private gun sales
- 72 percent want red flag laws
- 37 percent want to allow teachers to carry guns
Gun safety legislation has come to the forefront, after at least four mass shootings in the last few weeks.
“People are going to be talking about a number of things,” said Calvert. “And we are going to be looking at them all but I don’t believe that any of these regs will have any effect, to be quite frankly, on these unfortunate, horrific shootings.”
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has said he is willing to bring something to the floor if the president supports it. The president has voiced support for Red Flag laws and background checks. It is possible there will be legislation passed this fall.