As part of the recently-conducted PoliceOne Gun Control Survey, we asked law enforcement officials what they believed was the biggest cause of gun violence in the U.S. — and unlike some questions that received landslide majority answers, this section brought to light strong opinions of many diverse causes.
The majority — which in this case was only 38 percent of the 14,700 officers who answered the survey — blames the decline in parenting and family values. Pop culture, short sentencing, and the ‘other’ options each received upwards of 14 percent of the vote. Those who selected ‘other’ were asked to specify what they believed was the biggest cause of gun violence, and — to no surprise — most believed many factors were equally to blame.
Below are 10 of the top answers, based on their diversity, logic, and their thorough reasoning.
Today’s children are more prone to violence due to video games and the violent movies, but then that leads back to the way they were raised. In today’s world, both parents work, there is no family time to teach, to learn, to love. If parents don't show children love and that they are cherished, how can that child grow up and show love to any other person? When you don't care if the person in front of you, beside you, and in back of you lives or dies, it is pretty easy to pull a trigger.
There is the issue of mental illness. Most mass shooters have severe mental illness that could have been treated prior to anyone being shot. Access to mental health treatment is only available to people with money. So a combination of things are causing young people too helpless in our money-driven society.
I believe the most influencing factor is the widespread use of drugs like Xanax, and other anti- psychotic, or mood-altering prescription drugs. It was not until their use became so popular in the mid-80's that we started to see these horrific shootings. And most every shooter has been on some kind of prescription drug such as these.
It is a combination of pop culture influences and the decline in parenting and family values. Video games train to kill and parents are too busy in their own life to care. There is no understanding or respect for another life and an unrealistic sense of entitlement so they solve problems with a gun just like they have for years in the games.
Media sensationalization of the incident causes more [people] to want to do the same.
Nature of the beast: some people have poor social skills and will be violent, no matter what the weapon.
"Gun Free Zones," which basically advertise "Happy Hunting" to those who pray on the weak and wish to make a statement.
The news airing these mass shootings and making statements like "this is the biggest shooting yet.” The sick people want to top that and have the largest body count.
Guns have always been prevalent and easy to obtain in this country, so in my opinion that does not apply as a cause. The variables that exist deal with the way our society handles each of the other listed issues. Each of the listed factors plays a role in the overall erosion of respect for the value of life, others rights, and the law in general.
A combination of all of these factors combined. That is the largest reason why there has been no solution to the problem, each group has a vested interest in their own little slice of the pie.