The Washington Times - September 23, 2013, 08:36AM

Stricter gun control laws or better mental health care? Should the nation have a serious discussion about gun laws right after a mass shooting - or wait? They are complicated questions. A few numbers, then, from a public opinion survey conducted after the Navy Yard massacre.

57 percent of Americans say “better mental health care” would play a stronger role than stricter gun laws role in preventing mass shootings in the U.S.; 74 percent of Republicans and 43 percent of Democrats agree.

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52 percent of Americans say stricter gun laws will not make a difference in preventing future mass shootings; 59 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall say that making gun laws stricter would help prevent such events; 14 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Democrats agree.

48 percent say gun control law should be made more strict; 20 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

29 percent overall say the laws should not change; 46 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Democrats agree.

16 percent say the laws should be made less strict; 29 percent of Republicans and 3 percent of Democrats agree.

45 percent say the days following a mass shooting are “the right time” to have a national discussion about gun laws; 19 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov/Huffington Post survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 17-18.