2 in 3 parents concerned about mass shootings at schools: poll

Two in three American parents are concerned about mass shootings at schools, according to a new CBS poll taken about two weeks after a gunman opened fire inside a Texas elementary school, killing 19 children and two adults.

About 72 percent of American parents with school-age children said they were very concerned or somewhat concerned about gun violence at schools, according to the poll. About 19 percent said they were not very concerned and nine percent said they were not concerned at all.

The gunman who opened fire inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last month, was among a host of mass shootings in schools in recent years that have included ones Oxford, Mich., last year and in Parkland, Fla., in 2018.

The 2012 shooting in Newton, Conn., where 20 children were killed, has also been ingrained in the American consciousness, as has the 1999 school shooting at Columbine in Colorado.

After the Texas shooting, 63 percent of Americans said their children are sad about the tragedy, while 52 percent said their children are scared, according to the CBS poll.

Congress is currently holding bipartisan discussions to address the rise in gun violence and mass shootings, with the most likely middle-ground solutions being expanded background checks and national red flag laws.

In the CBS poll, about 81 percent of American parents with school-aged children support background checks for all potential buyers, while 72 percent back a national red flag law system and 62 percent support banning the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

Despite the anxiety, most American parents remain optimistic that gun violence can be curbed.

In the CBS poll, 72 percent said gun violence can be prevented if the U.S. tries, compared to 28 percent who said it’s unfortunately something Americans have to accept as part of a free society.