Nearly half of Republican voters think the US just needs to live with mass shootings, according to a poll released in the aftermath of the Texas elementary school murders last month, and as politicians in Washington negotiate for gun reform.
The CBS and YouGov poll yielded similar results, including 62% support for a nationwide ban on semi-automatic rifles, the kind of gun used in Uvalde, Texas.
Nineteen young children and two adults were killed by an 18-year-old at Robb Elementary School on May 24 by an 18-year-old who bought his weapon legally.
Most Republicans, supported financially by the powerful gun lobby, are not happy with the ban on such rifles in Congress, where they are opposed to restricting access to those weapons.
In an effort to address the horror at the events in Uvalde, Senators led by Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, elected after Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting killed 26 in 2012, and John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, have expressed optimism that some reforms may be possible.
Such efforts are focused on red flag laws designed to stop gun purchases by people deemed to be a potential danger to others or themselves.
Support for such laws ran at 72% in the CBS YouGov poll. The federal background checks on all gun purchases went up to 81%.
Joe Biden has called for an assault weapons ban or at least raising the minimum age for purchases of such weapons. In the new poll, 77% said the minimum age for buying an assault rifle should be higher than 18; 32% said it should be 21 and 45% opted for 25.
Asked if mass shootings were something we can prevent and stop if we were really bad, 72% of respondents said such shootings could be stopped.
85% of the respondents said mass shootings could be stopped if US politicians would only try. The figure was 73% among independents.
44% of Republicans said mass shootings should be accepted as part of a free society.
After strict messaging guidelines, Republican politicians say mental health and security issues are to blame for mass shootings, not access to guns.
In the new poll, respondents were asked: How likely do you think that Congress will pass any laws in the next few months that will make significant changes to gun policy? Only 7% thought it was very likely that Congress would act, while 69% thought it was not very or not at all likely.
The Republicans who expressed their openness to reform have faced immediate backlash.
On Friday, New York Congressman Chris Jacobs abandoned his bid for re-election after stoking fury by expressing support for a federal assault weapons ban.
Jacobs represents the suburbs of Buffalo, where 10 people were shot dead at a supermarket on May 14 in what authorities say was a racially motivated attack.
Mass shootings, commonly defined as shootings in which four people excluding the gunman are hurt or killed, have continued since Buffalo and Uvalde. Last week, a gunman killed two doctors, a receptionist and a patient at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Fifteen people were killed and more than 60 wounded.
The Gun Violence Archive says there have been 246 mass shootings in the US in 2022, more than a day.
Murphy talked about his push for reform on Sunday. He told CNN: The possibility of success is better than ever before. The consequences of failure for our entire democracy are more significant than ever.