A recent Washington Post–ABC News poll, shows that a small majority of Americans see the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary as a sign of broader problems in society, instead of a single isolated act of a troubled individual.
According to the Washington Post, between the times of the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech through this year’s massacre at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, the viewpoint that these were discrete episodes had been steadily increasing.
That view, however, has changed with the reaction to the mass murder at an elementary school in Connecticut that some speculate may prove a “tipping point” in the politics of gun control.
After the Aurora killings in July, a Pew Research poll showed that 24 percent of Americans believed that the shootings reflected bigger issues in the country.
Now, after the Newtown massacre, that number has more than doubled with the current showing 52 percent.
The recent poll showed 43 percent seeing Sandy Hook as an isolated incident, and 67 percent said so about the Aurora shooting.
According to NBC News, those results were similar to the January 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona. That Tucson shooting resulted with six people dead and injuring former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. The numbers were also similar to the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, which left 32 people dead.
Of those surveyed, 31% and 46%, respectively, viewed these massacres as a societal problem while 58% and 47%, respectively, viewed it as an isolated act of a disturbed individual.
This change in attitude comes as several Democratic lawmakerspush for stricter gun control measures, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Charles Schumer.
National Rifle Association-endorsed Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) has even called for a complete ban on assault weapons.
The poll questions were asked Friday through Sunday, among a random national sample of 602 adults.
The poll’s margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.