This post originally appeared on AddictingInfo.org
I remember that morning three years ago very clearly. I woke up late and started reading Facebook. Immediately I knew something was wrong in the world. Vaguely detailed posts ranting about guns and gun violence were showing up from friends who hardly ever talk about anything outside of baked goods and their cats. I knew that I had to find out what happened.
It was everywhere on the news. There was another mass shooting. I was ready to hear that because of what I had read on Facebook. What I wasn’t ready for was where it had happened, and what had occurred. It was the Sandy Hook massacre. Twenty first graders and 6 adults were slaughtered in what was supposed to be a safe place by just one more lunatic who had too easy access to high capacity machines of death. The nation was injured. Reactions were swift. Democrats pleaded for gun law reforms. Republicans blamed the victims for not carrying machine guns into their classrooms. The NRA insisted we adopt a militarized society where everyone is ready to shoot everyone else, at the drop of a hat.
What happened was a result of a few different factors. However, the one most at fault is that regular civilians in America can buy an assault rifle with the capability of emptying a 100 round magazine in under 2 minutes.
The big question today is, “Where are we now?” Sandy Hook horrified a nation. It even had some Republicans calling for something to be done to help address gun violence and mass shootings in America. This was going to be the thing that finally broke the gun lobby and the NRA. 3 years later, what do we have to show for it?
- A bipartisan bill was drawn up in the U.S. Senate for universal background checks on gun sales, after the Sandy Hook massacre. The measure had the overwhelming support of Democrats, Republicans, and even NRA members. The bill was voted down in the Senate because Republicans filibustered it under orders from the NRA. We have to show ID to buy cold medicine, but we can’t get universal background checks for an instrument of mass murder. Seriously, what is wrong with America?
- We have had at least 1,052 known mass shootings of varying magnitude since Sandy Hook. Also, know that as of today 1,076 days have passed since Sandy Hook. We literally have had only 24 days in just under 3 years without a mass shooting in America.
- We have had 5 states that enacted modest gun safety reforms. By contrast, we have had 10 states that loosened gun laws. America took a positive and turned it into a 100% negative.
- We have Republicans that are so terrified of the NRA, that they will not pass a law to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns.
- Americans bought up to 185,345 guns on Black Friday alone in 2015. Background checks were processed at 2 per second. This is up 5% from 2014. It broke the record, coming in higher than any other day in recorded history.
- We have more conspiracy theories than can be counted, which were made to convince everyone that Sandy Hook never really happened. Conspiracy theorists have been subjecting the memory of those lost to mockery and degradation, by telling their friends, co-workers and family that their loved ones were never really shot to pieces. This practice has since spread to every act of terrorism or gun violence that happens on American soil.
The short answer to “where are we now?” is “a new normal.” There have literally been more mass shootings in 2015 than days have passed in the year. The time measured between them is not months, weeks or even days. It is now hours. They’re hardly even mentioned in the news unless there is a sensationalistic aspect to them. The only answer by Republicans on how to not get shot when you leave your house is to make sure you shoot everyone else first. Outside of some state-level legislation that has been enacted, little else has been done with virtually nothing on a federal level. President Obama issued executive orders, but they didn’t seem to put a dent in the issue. However, it isn’t his fault. He tried. That’s the difference between him and Republicans.
I’m damned sick and tired of hearing about how we can’t do anything because “bad guys will always get guns.” No, they will not.Adam Lanza’s mother bought her guns legally. She was not a gun runner, criminal, or any other kind of very bad person. She was not going to go out and contact a drug cartel or mafia representative to buy what should have been illegal weapons. This very same truth would apply to most Americans as well. Fewer people would have these things if they were not legal to own.
Gun law reform needs to happen. No more whining about your rights and no more “it’s too soon to talk about it.” We have not had an average of greater than 24 hours between mass shootings all year. When will we talk about it, when we are all dead?
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