Poll: Americans see police, mental health care more effective than assault weapons ban

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By contrast, only 42 percent of those surveyed said banning assault and semi-automatic guns would be "very effective," while 36 percent said doing so would not at all be effective in preventing mass shootings.

Voters are more skeptical of a plan to have at least one school official carry a gun — only a third said that would be "very effective" in preventing large-scale gun violence — and only 27 percent said an agreement by the news media not to print shooter's names would rank as "very effective."

There are some partisan differences in the survey, however. More than six in 10 Democrats believe an assault weapons ban would be very effective, versus just over a quarter of Republicans. Democrats are also far more likely to back increased spending on mental health services. More than two-thirds of Democrats said it would be "very effective," versus just 35 percent of Republicans.

"Americans don't hold the belief that any one action -- at least out of the six tested in this research -- would be overwhelmingly effective in preventing future mass shootings at schools," said Gallup's Frank Newport in a statement. "At most, 53 percent say that an increased police presence at schools would be very effective; leaving almost half who say that such an action would be somewhat or not at all effective."

On Wednesday, President Obama named Vice President Joe Biden to lead a working group tasked on recommending "real reforms" by the end of January.

The president stressed that the group would develop a holistic approach to preventing future violence that included not just an examination of gun laws, but mental-health policies and services and the entertainment industry.

"We're going to need to look closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence," Obama said, adding that the effort would "begin inside the home and inside our hearts."

But Obama only offered specific plans for gun control, including a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, limits on the size of ammunition clips, and closing the gun show loophole that allows buyers to forgo background checks.