This story is part of a KXAN series of reports called “Stop Mass Shootings,” providing context and exploring solutions surrounding gun violence in the wake of the deadly Uvalde school shooting. We want our reports to be a resource for Texans, as well as for lawmakers who are discussing how the state should move forward. Explore all “Stop Mass Shootings” stories by clicking here.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — A majority of Texans say state leaders have not done enough to prevent mass shootings in the state, according to a new poll.
Of those surveyed, 57% said the state’s elected officials had done too little to prevent mass shootings, while 22% thought enough had been done.
Just 4% said leaders had done too much to prevent shootings.
Another 17% said they didn’t know or had no opinion.
The University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll was conducted between Aug. 28 and Sept. 6. The same poll found incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott held a five-point lead over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.
Democrats were much more likely to say leaders had not done enough to prevent mass shootings. Of respondents who said they were Democrats, 86% said state leaders had not done enough, compared to 60% of independents and 32% of Republicans.
Almost 40% of Republicans, meanwhile, said enough had already been done, compared to just 5% of Democrats who felt the same.
The poll also specifically asked about the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, in which 19 students and two teachers were killed in May.
When asked what factors contributed to the severity of the shooting, the vast majority — 76% — said the delay by police in confronting the shooter contributed a lot. Another 12% said the delay contributed some.
Law enforcement officers were inside the school for more than an hour before the shooter was confronted and killed, prompting questions about the response to the shooting.
KXAN reported last week that the Texas Department of Public Safety has changed its active shooter policy in the wake of the shooting. The agency’s officers are now “authorized to overcome any delay to neutralizing an attacker.”
Meanwhile, 81% of those polled said flaws in school safety practices contributed at least somewhat to the severity of the shooting, and 78% felt that weaknesses in the mental health system contributed at least some.
A slightly smaller majority placed the blame on the weapon used. In total, 65% said the specific weapon contributed to the severity, including 46% who said it contributed a lot.
Thirteen percent said the specific weapon did not contribute very much, while 17% said it didn’t contribute to the severity at all.