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Americans divided on what Newtown shootings reflect

People gather at a memorial for victims near the school on the first Sunday following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 16, 2012 in Newtown, Conn.

This final note today: some numbers from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press about the shootings in Newtown.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans say they're following the story very closely. What's more interesting, though -- and gives an indicator of the policy debates to come -- is why people think the shootings happened.

Forty-four percent said shootings like these are the isolated acts of troubled individuals. Forty-seven percent said it's about broader problems in society.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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About the NRA based on comments from various MarketPlace programs. Just because NRA memberships may increase immediately after each school shooting certainly does not mean these folks want to stage their own shootings. It means they want to protect themselves ad their families and they want to keep the right to do so. Since there is always a knee-jerk call to ban guns after these horrid events many, I believe, perceive at these times that they must preserve their right to own a gun. So they turn to an organization that supports this. That isn't going to be the local library club or the AKC - it's the NRA. I am not an NRA member and, hopefuly, I will never need to own a gun; but I just might join the NRA just to beef up their numbers to better lobby for folks to be able to have guns and, hopefully, be able to meet the wackos at the school doors and keep them outside and away from the schools, theatres and fairgrounds. Then after a couple years - after we've finally figured out a better way to address the issues these miscreants represent - I suppose I'll just let my membership lapse. And during that whole period I doubt I will own, fire or want a gun.

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