Californians strongly favor metal detectors and armed security at school sites and a ban on AR-15-style rifles.
But there was less certainty over the topic of arming teachers in the results of an Eyewitness News-Southern California News Group poll conducted by Survey USA and released Wednesday, March 28.
While 52 percent of respondents said armed teachers would decrease students safety, 31 percent said students would be safer if their teachers had guns. Survey USA interviewed 882 registered voters from March 22-25, a month after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and over the weekend that included “March For Our Lives” gatherings across the country. All the questions on the poll had a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
“Republicans are six times more likely than Democrats to say that arming school teachers would make students much more safe; conservatives are five times more likely than liberals to say that armed teachers would make students much more safe,'” Survey USA said in a release with the results. “Forty percent of parents who have a school-age child like the idea compared to 27 percent of those who do not have a school-age child.
“Arming teachers is twice as popular in the Inland Empire and the Central Valley as it is in the Bay Area.”
The poll also asked about the entertainment industrys responsibility for mass shootings in the United States, and 49 percent of those surveyed said it had from some to complete responsibility, with 44 percent saying it was “not very” or “not at all” responsible.
Metal detectors in schools are the least political ways to address guns on campuses, and 73 percent of those surveyed said they would increase students safety compared to only 8 percent who said it would make them less safe. There was nearly as much support – 72 percent – for having an armed, active-duty police officer on school sites to improve students safety.
And the idea of having an armed veteran or retired police officer on sites still polled strongly, with 66 percent saying they would make students safer.
There was a significant gap along party and ideological lines when it came to the question of a ban on AR-15-style rifles. Overall, 61 percent of respondents said students would be safer if the rifles were banned, but the number was much higher among those who identified themselves as Democrats (74 percent) than those who identified as Republicans (51 percent) or independent (54 percent).
There were similar ideological differences, with self-identified liberal (72 percent) and moderate (64 percent) respondents saying a ban would make students safer, but only 46 percent of those who identified as conservative saying so; 23 percent of conservatives said a ban would make students less safe.