DemDaily: Game of Guns

March 18, 2021

March 16, 2021: Acworth County, Georgia. Asian Massage Parlors. Of the eight people killed, six were Asian women - victims of the eighth mass shooting this year.

The killer was able to purchase his 9mm handgun legally, just hours before at a local gun shop, because Georgia does not require a waiting period for firearm sales.

mass shooting is defined as an act of public firearm violence in which at least four victims are killed, excluding the shooter. There are virtually thousands more where at least four people have been injured.

Of the 181 mass shootings that have occurred since 1967, 13 of the deadliest have been in the last decade. Over the past decade, seven of the top ten incidents of hate were mass killings.

The Other Victims
(Mass Shootings 1966 to present, 10+ deaths)

2017 Las Vegas Music Festival Killing Spree holds "the record" with 58 deaths

August 3, 2019: El Paso, Texas, Walmart. Killed 22, Injured 24  *  May 31, 2019: Virginia Beach, Virginia, Virginia Beach Municipal Center. Killed 12, Injured 4  *  November 7, 2018: Thousand Oaks, Calfornia. Borderline Bar and Grill. Killed 12, Injured 16  *  October 27, 2018: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tree of Life Synagogue. Killed 11, Injured 6  *  May 18, 2018: Santa Fe, Texas, Santa Fe High School. Killed 10, Injured 13  *  February 15, 2018: Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Killed 17, Injured 17  *  November 5, 2017: Sutherland Springs, Texas, First Baptist Church. Killed 26, Injured 20  October 1, 2017: Las Vegas, Nevada, Route 91 Music Festival. Killed 58, Injured 500+  *  June 12, 2016: Orlando, Florida, Pulse Nightclub. Killed 49, Injured 50+  *  December 2, 2015: San Bernardino, California, Inland Regional Center. Killed 14, Injured 22  *  September 16, 2013: Washington, DC, Washington Navy Yard. Killed 12, Injured 8  *  December 14, 2012: Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary. Killed 27, including 20 children.  Injured 2  *  July 20, 2012: Aurora, Colorado, Century 16 Movie Theatre. Killed 12, Injured 70.

Every day, more than 100 people in the United States are killed with guns and 230 more are shot and wounded. The gun homicide rate in the US is 25 times higher than that of other developed countries.

June 17, 2015: A White supremacist murdered nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC (Win McNamee)

November 5, 2009: Killeen, Texas, Fort Hood Military Base. Killed 13, Injured 32  *  April 3, 2009: Binghamton, New York, New York Immigrant Centre. Killed 13, Injured 4  *  March 10, 2009: Geneva County, Alabama, McLendon massacre. Killed 10, Injured 6  *  April 16, 2007: Blacksburg, VirginiaVirginia Tech. Killed 32, Injured 23  *  July 29, 1999: Atlanta, Georgia, Brokerage Houses. Killed 12, Injured 13  *  April 20, 1999: Littleton, Colorado, Columbine High School. Killed 13, Injured 24  *  October 16, 1991: Killeen, Texas, Luby Cafeteria. Killed 23, Injured 13. *  August 20, 1986: Edmond, Oklahoma, Edmond Post Office. Killed 14, Injured 6  *  July 18, 1984: San Diego, California, San Ysidro McDonald's. Killed 21, Injured 19  *  April 15, 1984: Brooklyn, New York, Palm Sunday massacre. Killed 10. February 18, 1983: Seattle, Washington, Wah Mee massacre. Killed 13, Injured 1  *  September 15, 1982: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Killed 12, Injured 1  *  March 30, 1975: Hamilton, Ohio, Easter Sunday massacre, Killed 11  *  August 1, 1966: Austin, Texas, University of Texas Tower shooting. Killed 16, Injured 32.

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

The Decision Makers
Last Thursday, March 11th, the US House passed two bills aimed at strengthening the nation's gun laws, including required background checks on all gun sales and transfers, and extending the time for the FBI to vet those flagged by the national instant check system.

(Image: CNN)

Both H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, which passed largely along party lines, are aimed at addressing gaps in existing gun laws.

Democrats' attempt to advance the first major gun safety measures in decades, however, faces considerable GOP opposition in the Senate, despite its popularity with the voters.

This means it is likely to go the way of a growing list of Democratic agenda pieces that fall short of the 60-vote threshold needed to override the filibuster and pass the Upper Chamber.

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

Gifford Law Center State Gun Law Score Card (CLICK)

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.

In 2020, many state legislatures were set to enact new gun safety laws, but most of those plans were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 People: According to a Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted March 6-8, 2021 of 1990 registered voters, 84% of Americans, including 77% of Republicans, support universal background checks (MOError ±2)

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

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: EverytownUSA, Gifford Law Center, Brady, Washington Post, ADL, New York Times, National Gun Archives, NPR

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