A minority of Americans believe the Arizona shooting last Saturday was because of heated political rhetoric, according to a poll released Friday.
The poll, conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, found 15 percent of Americans believe the shooting was because of unusually angry and aggressive political rhetoric. Forty percent of the Americans poll believe the shooting was unavoidable and another 23 percent think it was due to an inadequate mental health system. The poll found a slim 9 percent think the shooting was because of lenient gun control laws.
But Americans do think there's a correlation between violence and violent terminology in political speeches and debate. The poll found 52 percent of Americans think unstable people are more likely to engage in violent acts because of "heated political rhetoric" while 41 percent do not.
The poll comes six days after the Arizona shooting that claimed the lives of six and hospitalized 14 including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the head.
Since the shooting, an unofficial detente has descended over Washington politics. Both Democrats and Republicans have made gestures toward more bipartisan cooperation in some way. Recent examples include a proposal by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) to end partisan seating at the State of the Union address and postponing the Republican vote in the House to repeal the Obama administration's healthcare reform legislation.