Over and over again a mass shooting horrifies the country but the public’s attention lasts for only a few days, then most people turn away. Nothing is done to reform the lax gun laws that allow a disturbed teenager to buy a weapon and kill 21 people in a few minutes. In the words of David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting and gun reform activist, after mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo “help us make this time different.”
The scope of gun violence is shocking:
- More children die by gunfire in a year in the U.S. than on-duty police officers and active military members.
- Guns are the leading cause of death for American children, surpassing car accidents.
- In the U.S., 4 people in every 100,000 die by gun violence each year. In no other wealthy country is the number as high as 1 person per 100,000. In Canada, it is less than .5 persons per 100,000.
Gun-safety laws save lives:
- States with weaker gun-safety laws have on average higher rates of firearm murder and suicide than states with stronger gun-safety laws. Mississippi, with the weakest gun-safety laws in the country, is fifth nationwide in gun deaths per capita. California, with the nation’s strongest gun-safety laws, ranks 44th in per capita gun deaths.
- The gap in the rate of gun deaths between states with weaker laws and states with stronger laws is growing.
- In countries that have tightened their laws, mass shootings are rare. Australia adopted gun reforms after a mass shooting in 1996, and there has been just one mass shooting in the 26 years since. In Great Britain, which adopted a series of gun-safety reforms between 1987 and 1996, there have been two mass shootings in the past 26 years.
- The vast majority of Americans want universal background checks (92%), and a large percentage support raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21 (72%) and banning assault weapons (over 50%).
It’s time to end the epidemic of gun violence:
Join the March for Our Lives in D.C. on Saturday, June 11. Help demonstrate Americans’ overwhelming support for gun violence prevention. Sign up to march with the Arlington Democrats here, take the Metro to the Archives-Navy Memorial stop and meet other Arlington Democrats a few blocks away near the south steps of the National History Museum between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. We will walk over to the Washington Monument to join the other marchers at 10:00 am.
Urge our Senators to continue to support 1.) universal background checks, 2.) an increase in the minimum age for gun purchases to age 21, and 3.) a ban on assault weapons. They must work for the immediate passage of legislation to accomplish these goals. Contact Senator Warner here. Contact Senator Kaine here. Tell them: It is urgent that we enact tighter gun-safety laws. Please work for immediate adoption of universal background checks, an increase in the age for gun purchases to 21 years old, and a ban on assault weapons. I appreciate your past leadership on this issue, but we need more now.