American Republicans want to see teachers and school officials armed with guns—much moreso than Democrats and the population at-large—in the wake of the shooting massacre at a Newtown, CT elementary school last month, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.
The study, released Monday, shows 56 percent of Republicans favor increasing the number of armed teachers and school officials, compared to just 23 percent of Democrats. Since 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, many, including a National Rifle Association official, have called for the arming of more school officials.
But 57 percent of Americans oppose arming more teachers, while a majority (64 percent) would like to see more armed security guards and police on campuses.
The gun control debate since the Newtown shooting has often diverged along party lines. According to the San Diego County Registrar's Office, about 44 percent of registered voters in Santee who stated a party are Republicans, compared to 27 percent who align with the Democratic Party.
This new study shows the starkest split along party lines on the issues of arming school teachers, banning assault-style weapons and a federal database to track gun sales. While 69 percent of Democrats want to ban assault-style weapons, only 44 percent of Republicans do. As for the federal database—the gun regulation issue with the sharpest disagreement—84 percent of Democrats are in favor, compared to 49 percent of Republicans.
But there is common ground amid the debate.
Background checks for buyers at private gun sales and gun shows, and preventing the mentally ill from buying guns have the support of a large block of Americans and members of both parties. A strong 85 percent of Americans and Republicans, and 87 percent of Democrats support the expanded background checks. Similar numbers support the checks on purchases by the mentally ill.
See the full study here.
COMMENT: Whatever your party affiliation, what do you think about this study and the debate about arming teachers?