DemDaily: Game of Guns

August 5, 2019

2019: Number of Days past: 217.    2019: Number of Mass Shootings: 255

That means more than one mass shooting, when more than four people are killed, happens every day in America.

August 3, 2019: El Paso, Texas. Walmart. Killed 22, Injured 24. 
August 4, 2019: Dayton, Ohio. Ned Pepper's Restaurant. Killed 9, Injured 31

That does not include three other high-profile shootings in the last week: July 30th at a Southhaven, Mississippi Walmart, killing two and injuring two; July 28th at the Gilroy, California Garlic Festival, killing three, including a six-year old boy and a 13 year-old girl, and wounding 12 others; July 27th at a Brooklyn, New York community festival, killing one and wounding 11 others.

Walmart, site of El Paso shooting, still sells shotguns and ammunition

The Stats
* Seven of the deadliest shootings in American history have occurred in the last ten years.

* An average of 100 people a day are killed by guns in the United States.

* According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 33,237 total shooting incidents in 2019, resulting in 8,796 deaths and 17,480 injuries.

* The US population is just under 5% of the world's population but, according to Switzerland's Small Arms Survey, the U.S. accounts for 46% of the worldwide total of civilian-held firearms.

* According to Gifford Law Center, Gun violence costs 229 billion a year, including medical expenses, law enforcement and criminal justice costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. Most of this cost is borne by taxpayers.

Mourners hold a vigil in Texas (Reuters)

The Decision Makers
The President
The manifesto that the killer at the Walmart massacre echoed President Trump's words of "a Hispanic invasion" at the border.

Trump has consistently fueled the fire of prejudice, bigotry and fear-mongering racists in his Twitter feeds and public speeches. Most notable of those was in the aftermath of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, when he said "there is blame on both sides...you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had very fine people on both sides."

After a steady decline from 2008 to 2014, hate crimes have taken a sharp rise. According to FBI Director Christopher Ray, "a majority of the domestic terrorist cases we have investigated, are motivated by some version of what you would call white supremacists."

This morning President Trump suggested tying immigration measures to gun control legislation.

"That's an absolute freaking joke that he's going to tie this to the most polarizing issue happening in the United States around immigration reform...There are people that are getting access to guns that shouldn't be, and the guns are high-powered..."(Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell needs to get off his ass and do something. People are getting killed in the streets in America and nobody is acting. Nobody."  

-- Ohio Congressman and 2020 Presidential candidate Tim Ryan

The Congress
The last major piece of gun control legislation to make it into law was the 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, and repeated attempts to renew it have failed.

On February 27, 2019, the Democratic-controlled US House passed H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, sweeping gun control legislation that proposes requiring federal criminal background checks on all firearms sales or transfers, with carefully defined exceptions for gifts to family members, hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.

Bodies are loaded after the Dayton Shooting Rampage (ViceNews)

The bill passed 240-190, largely along party lines. Eight Republicans voted with most Democrats in favor of the bill, and two Democrats, Congressmen Jared Golden (ME) and Collin Peterson (MN), voted against.

The bill has been stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate, and President Trump said he would veto the legislation if it came to his desk.

On Sunday, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D) led the call for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call the Senate back from recess to vote on the bill.

The States
While the federal government continues to fail to act, state legislatures have taken the issue of gun violence into their own hands.

In 2018, 26 states and Washington DC passed 67 new gun safety laws. Four states raised the minimum age for firearms purchases, and seven states strengthened or expanded background checks for gun buyers. Of the 10 states with the strongest gun laws, seven of them have the lowest gun death rates.

California continues to have the strongest gun safety laws in the country, while Mississippi has the weakest.

The scene outside the Dayton Shooting the day after

On a state level, just nine states and the District of Columbia ban large-capacity ammunition magazines.

The People
In a Quinnipiac University Poll conducted May 16-20, 2019 of registered voters nationwide (MOError ± 3.7), 94% of Americans, including 92% of Republicans, support requiring background checks for all gun buyers.

The Voters
Don't forget the victims when you go to the ballot box.

Moms Demand Action: Text CHECKS to 64433 
to be connected to your Senator
Everytown Gun Law Navigator: The Gun Laws in your State

 

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Kimberly Scott
Publisher

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Sources: GunViolenceArchive, EverytownUSA, Gifford Law Center, FBI Uniform Crime Report, CNN

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