Congress and President to blame for mass shooting in Florida

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More than 6 in 10 Americans fault Congress and President Donald Trump for not doing enough to prevent mass shootings, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with most Americans continuing to say these incidents are more reflective of problems identifying and addressing mental health issues than inadequate gun laws.

Of the 808 adults surveyed from February 15-18, 62 percent of people do not think the president is doing enough to prevent mass shootings, with 77 percent believing Congress is not doing enough to tackle the problem.

A large majority of respondents (77 percent) also said more mental health screenings and treatments could have helped to prevent accused gunman Nikolas Cruz from allegedly opening fire at his high school.

Public opinion may be making its way to Washington DC, as Trump announced this week that he supports congressional efforts to improve background checks for gun purchases.

Asked if arming teachers would have stopped the attack, 42 percent said yes and 51 percent said no. More than 6 in 10 Republicans say Trump is taking sufficient action to prevent mass shootings, although more than one-quarter of fellow partisans, 28 percent, say he is not.

The poll was conducted by telephone from February 15 to February 18 and surveyed 808 adults. Majorities across party lines pointed directly to Congress while responses on the president's actions appeared more divided.

The poll results came days after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., about 25 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale, left 17 people dead and 14 others injured.

Respondents were split on the issue of an outright assault weapons ban, with no change from 2016, the poll said. The survey revealed 55 percent of women support a ban, compared with 43 percent of men.

Some 58 percent of those polled said stricter gun control laws would have prevented the Florida shooting.

Support for an assault weapons ban saw the widest gap in party affiliation - with 83 percent support among liberal Democrats and just 26 percent support among conservative Republicans. Another 37 percent said the laws wouldn't have mattered. Its margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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