A clear majority of Americans would like to see a police presence at town hall meetings with their lawmakers in the wake of the deadly Arizona shooting that left six dead and 13 wounded, according to a new poll by The Hill newspaper.
The poll found that 91 percent of Americans say it's "very important or "somewhat important" that lawmakers keep meeting with their constituents in spite of the mass shooting on Jan. 8 at the "Congress on Your Corner" event Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was hosting outside of a grocery store. But 60 percent of the respondents said they would like to see police protection at those events.
Neither politics nor gender seemed to play a factor in the responses. Nearly the same amount of Republicans (62 percent) and Democrats (64 percent), and men (59 percent) and women (61 percent) said they wanted a police presence.
But more men (35 percent) than women (22 percent) expressed opposition to additional security.
Race did seem to factor into the responses, with 75 percent of blacks supporting the police presence compared to 58 percent among whites. Whites were also twice as likely to oppose additional security (30 percent) as blacks (16 percent).
The poll arrives as Congress debates what additional security measures should be taken, if any, as several lawmakers begin meeting with their constituents at district events for the first time since the shooting. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., has pushed for additional spending on security, Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Heath Shuler, D-N.C., have said they will carry their guns with them to district events while Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., has offered to provide security training to his colleagues.
At the same time, Reps. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., Keith Ellison, D-Minn., were among the lawmakers who hosted town hall meetings this weekend with beefed up security.