Today I was asked:
Hi Tim, Today is the 10th Anniversary of Sandy Hook. Please address how little has changed since those 20 angels came to be.
It only took me a minute to realize that a proper answer required starting at a different point in history.
Yes, it’s been a decade.
Sadly, little has changed except things have become worse. Uvalde is far more recent.
Yet neither is the starting point of this era of gun violence or school campus shootings that began in April of 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado.
We’re averaging one mass shooting in America every 13 hours this year alone. There have been 628 such events — with at least 4 victims not including the shooter injured or killed by gunfire in a single incident — in the 348 days since January 1, 2022. Thirty-six of those events have been mass murders with at least 4 fatalities not including the shooter.
Guns have taken the lives of 1,584 American kids under the age of 18 so far this year, and injured another 4,293.
Another 17 days remain until the end of the year.
What has changed after each of these events, in the last two decades or so, is that most Republican led states have made guns easier to obtain both legally and illegally while also lowering requirements for licensure and training required for legal ownership; increasing the rates of gun violence at steadily alarming rates.
What has changed is that every damn day is the anniversary of another mass shooting event in this country.
If you want to help put an end to these injuries and deaths, support background checks even for private transfer of gun ownership, support licensing and proficiency training requirements, support red-flag laws, support mandatory state, local, national, and military law enforcement participation in a national database of domestic violence offenders and violent criminals who should not be permitted to own firearms, support mandatory charges for gun owners whose guns are left unsecured and unattended so others can use them in such attacks, support mandatory charges for gun owners whose firearms are used by children (even if deemed an accidental discharge).
No other course of action is going to alter the inertia of our culture of gun violence.