How to stop gun violence? America's divided

How to stop gun violence? America's divided

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - It seems Americans are split on who to blame for gun violence and what to do about it.

According to a new Washington Post poll, 77 percent of Americans say Congress is not doing enough to try and stop school shootings.

Sixty-two percent say the same of president Donald Trump.

Fifty-eight percent say stricter gun control laws could have prevented the Valentine's Day attack.

A ban on assault weapons splits the country evenly, with no change from 2016.

Seventy-seven percent say better mental health monitoring and treatment could have prevented the shooting.

"It is probably one of the most polarizing subjects that we have in this country today," said attorney Jim Astrachan, who specializes and teaches second amendment laws.

"We have 350 million guns in this country. We need to recognize we have 350 million guns," he said.

With the national conversation surrounding gun control only heating up, Astrachan believes bans on specific weapons and magazines won't have a huge impact on safety.

"I can show you, off the top of my head, four guns that cannot be banned that can do exactly the same thing the AR-15 can do, that no one would think of banning," he said.

"Restrictions that ban 15-round magazines, 20-round magazines or 30-round magazines, when Pennsylvania is a miles away, Delaware is a few miles away - those aren't going to keep us safe."

Instead, he said, we should be enforcing current laws.

"What's going to keep us safe is keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have guns," he said, adding we should also look at new ones aimed particularly at mental health.

"Why don't we look at some of the early signs of mental illness and try to equate that with people who have guns and stop them from being able to use the guns? That's something we haven't really looked at."

"The cause is going to have to be brought back to the people who are using this, and you've got to keep the guns out of their hands," he said.

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a policy group that researches laws and programs, ranks each state by grade.

Maryland has an "A-", meaning it has some of the strongest gun laws in the country.

Some ways they say that can be improved are to allow local governments to pass gun laws and require the safe storage of guns at home.

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