us gunviolence

A new poll has found a majority of Americans is blaming mass shootings in the U.S. on easy access to guns and racism, but a significant portion also put networks like Fox News and CNN at fault.

Asked “how much do you blame each of the following for mass shootings?” in the wide-ranging Politico/Morning Consult poll, 69% and 67% pointed to “racism” and “easy access to guns,” respectively, as popular choices.

For Fox News, 34% of respondents put “a lot” of, or “some blame” for, mass shootings on the network, while 16% put “not much” but some blame on the network. Another 24% said CNN bears “a lot” of, or “some blame” for, mass shootings, while another 18% said it only has some responsibility.

The numbers change when broken down by political affiliation. There were stark partisan differences among those responses as 32% of Republicans similarly blame CNN versus 20% of Independents and the same for Democrats, and 47% of Democrats blame Fox News, versus 29% of Independents and 18 percent of Republicans.

About one in five Republicans blamed Fox News, and one in five Democrats blamed CNN. The poll did not ask respondents about MSNBC.

More significantly held at fault are things like violent video games (52% putting “a lot” or “some” blame on them) and access to mental health services (76%).

Of all the choices given, President Joe Biden was least likely to be blamed for mass shootings, with 21% saying he deserves “a lot” or “some” blame. Among political leaders, Republicans in Congress were most likely to be blamed, at 40%, while 23% blamed Democrats in Congress. Democrats were much more likely to blame congressional Republicans (70%) than Republicans were to blame congressional Democrats (40%).

And in the continuation of a longstanding trend, support for gun control provisions was high, even overwhelming in many cases — such as 83% support for background checks on all gun purchases, 73% support for a three-day waiting period, 72% for safe storage laws, 70% for a national database of firearms sales, and 64% support for an assault weapons ban.

The poll was conducted on April 09-12, 2021 among nearly 2,000 people, and has a margin of error of +/-2%.

Washington DC is the worst place

In a new YouGov poll, Americans were asked to rate states on their “win percentages” in head-to-head matchups, and Washington, DC came in last.

The ranking was based on the locales’ “win percentage” — how often that state won the matchup when it was one of the two states shown. Washington, D.C. ranked dead last, with a win percentage of just 35 percent.

The YouGov poll ranked states in matchups, but included Washington, DC, which many advocates have been pushing for statehood.

The ranking comes as lawmakers and D.C. residents have spent months fighting for a loosening of the increased security measures that have been in place in the district since the January 6 Capitol riots.

The two states to rank bottom were Alabama and Mississippi, with each winning 38% of their matchups. DC, however, ranked worst of all, only coming ahead 35% of the time, something pollsters markup to the heated political climate of the city.

“Americans might be rejecting the political divisiveness it stands for – or could be protesting that it is, in fairness, not a state,” the report states.

Voters appear to be fairly split on the issue of DC statehood with a poll from The Hill and HarrisX this month finding 36% in favor of it, 32% against, and another 32% without an opinion on the matter.

Another state to rank low in YouGov’s poll was New Jersey, which was third from the bottom at 39%.

“New Jersey is often the butt of jokes, including for its occasional odor or for being the birthplace of The Jersey Shore franchise,” the report reads.

The states most admired by Americans came down to Colorado and Hawaii, though most Americans tend to pick the state they are from or reside in when choosing a favorite.

The YouGov’s poll was conducted among 1,211 adults from March 12 through March 15.

Hawaii ranked number one after winning 69% of its matchups. Colorado (65%), Virginia (64%), Nevada (61%) and North Carolina (61%) rounded out the top five.

Most of the bottom ten states are located in the South or the Midwest, aside from New Jersey, which won just 39 percent of its matchups. Others in the bottom included Arkansas (39%), Iowa (39%), Indiana (40%), South Dakota (40%), Missouri (42%) and Kansas (42%).

Americans selected their home state 77 percent of the time it was shown and their current state of residence 79 percent of the time, according to YouGov.

Hollywood Stars’ open letter condemning Georgia voting restrictions

Fortune 500 companies, A-list movie stars, filmmakers and corporate heavyweights came out swinging on April 14, condemning Georgia’s new voting restrictions in an open letter that was printed in The Washington Post and the New York Times.

The hundreds of signatories included the likes of Netflix, Amazon, ViacomCBS, Starbucks, Facebook and UTA, as well as celebrities such as Rooney Mara, George Clooney, Mark Ruffalo, Larry David, Josh Gad, Lee Daniels, George Lucas, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leonardo Dicaprio, Demi Lovato, Shonda Rhimes, Samuel L. Jackson, Orlando Bloom and Naomi Campbell. Business titans such as Michael Bloomberg, Scooter Braun, J.J. Abrams, David Geffen and Warren Buffett also signed the note.

“For American democracy to work for any of us, we must ensure the right to vote for all of us,” the statement reads. “Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy, and we call upon all Americans to take a nonpartisan stand for this basic and most fundamental right of all Americans.”

The open letter was organized by former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, and emerged out of a meeting that the men hosted with other business leaders over the weekend.

The new laws were passed in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, and after Georgia voted for a Democrat for president for the first time in decades. The rules shorten the duration of absentee voting, require absentee voters to produce identification, limit the use of drop boxes and make it a crime to hand out free food or water to voters standing in line. Critics maintain these laws target people of color and are designed to suppress the vote.

Two Georgia-based companies that have criticized the laws, Delta and Coca-Cola, did not sign the open letter.

Georgia has become a major production hub for Hollywood, with film and television project flocking to the Peach State, lured by generous tax incentives. On Monday, one of those projects, “Emancipation,” a thriller about an escaped slave that will star Will Smith and will be directed by Antoine Fuqua, announced it will not shoot in Georgia because of the new voting rules.


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