New poll gives insight on what Utahns think causes mass shootings

Jul 6, 2022, 12:26 PM | Updated: 12:36 pm
A police officer holds a gun. Mass shootings, like the one in Uvalde, prompted the gun buyback prog...
A Salt Lake City police officer inspects a handgun during a voluntary gun buyback program outside of the Public Safety Building in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Photo credit: Spenser Heaps/Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — In the wake of another mass shooting, a new poll conducted by Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics gives a glimpse into what Utahns think is at the root of the violence. The poll was conducted after the mass shootings at a Uvalde, Texas elementary and at a Buffalo, New York supermarket, but prior to the recent shooting in Highland Park, Illinois that killed seven. 

Utahns were asked what they think is the main cause of mass shootings. The number one answer? Mental health. 

43% of poll respondents said mental health treatment challenges are the primary cause of mass shootings.

A report from the National Council Medical Director Institute said most people with a diagnosable mental illness are not violent towards other people. And most people who commit mass violence do not have a major psychiatric disorder.

A psychiatry professor at Duke University who studies gun violence and mental illness also said most people with a serious mental illness are not violent towards other people. And, as reported by the New York Times, he said if we completely eliminated these serious mental health disorders, community violence would only go down by about 4%. 

The second-most common answer was inadequate gun control laws, with 27% of respondents choosing it as the cause.

Respondents who identified as conservative were more likely to blame mental health problems. And those who identified as liberals were more likely to point to poor gun laws.

The rest of the respondents blamed inadequate security at schools and other public spaces — which 11% chose — or wrote in their own responses — which 18% chose. 


Today’s Top Stories


Missing Layton teen...
Mark Jones

Breaking: Teen missing from Layton found safe in Salt Lake City

LAYTON, Utah — The teen missing from a Layton treatment center since last week was found safe and sound Tuesday evening in Salt Lake City. Missing teen Natalee has been found in Salt Lake thanks to a tip from someone who spotted her there. She is safe and being reunited with her family. Gathering more […]
1 day ago
St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City. According to the Utah Hospital Association, staffing at hosp...
Martha Harris

Staffing at Utah hospitals is in a more stable place than a year ago

Staffing at Utah hospitals are at a more stable position than they were last year, according to the Utah Hospital Association. However, they still aren't at pre-pandemic levels.
1 day ago
snapchat parents sextortion...
Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN Business

Snapchat rolls out option to let parents see who their teens are messaging

The new tool, called Family Center, promises to give parents more insight into who their teenagers are communicating with on the messaging app.
1 day ago
Missing Layton teen...
Mark Jones

Layton Police say search continues for teenager missing from treatment center

Natelee, the missing teenager, was last seen in the area of 2000 W. Gordon Avenue in Layton.
2 days ago
Follow @SimoneSeikaly...
Simone Seikaly

UTA releases video of the moments before woman was hit by FrontRunner

UTA officials said two people crossed activated rail crossing arms before the FrontRunner accident. A witness said the victim didn't hear the train.
2 days ago
Wasatch County Search and Rescue...
Mark Jones

Wasatch County Search and Rescue has a busy Saturday

Two separate calls for assistance on Saturday kept the Wasatch County Search and Rescue team busy. The team responded to calls near Blood Lake and the Lower Provo River.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

New poll gives insight on what Utahns think causes mass shootings