A mass shooting that killed 18 schoolchildren in the deeply gun-prone state of Texas on Tuesday has increased pressure on U.S. politicians to take action on the universality of firearms – but also raises the prospect of little or no change.
It was the eighth mass shooting this year and came 10 days after another 18-year-old African American killed 10 African Americans at a New York supermarket, according to the Everytown gun control group.
Sanctions on gun ownership and ownership have not changed significantly, nearly 10 years after a man killed 20 children and six others in an attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and 17 years after a Florida high school killed 17 people.
“I hope that when I become president, I don’t have to do this anymore,” said Joe Biden, a troubled president who led the national mourning, vowing to break the U.S. gun lobby and find a way to tighten gun ownership laws. .
“Another genocide … an elementary school. Beautiful, innocent, second, third, fourth grader,” he said. “I’m sick and tired of it. We have to work. And don’t tell me we can’t influence this murder.”
All types of guns, especially high-powered assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols, are cheaper and more widely available throughout the United States than ever before.
The well-known argument about guns, public safety and rights was immediately reopened in Tuesday’s mass shooting.
The ‘politicization’ of genocide?
The controversy is set to intensify over the weekend as Houston, Texas hosts the annual conference of the country’s leading pro-gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.
Former President Donald Trump, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and other prominent Republicans will address the convention.
Senator Chris Murphy, who represents Connecticut, made an emotional call to the Senate floor on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to take action.
“It doesn’t happen here except in the United States and it’s a choice. It’s our choice to let it go,” he said.
Cruz quickly pushed back, saying people would use the shooting to attack gun rights under the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.
“When this kind of crime happens, it almost immediately turns into politics,” Cruz said.
Attacking the constitutional gun rights “is not effective in stopping this kind of crime,” he added.
More guns, more shots
Yet the data shows the horrific national value of gun crime.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of gun deaths in the United States in 2020 was a “historic” increase.
There were 19,350 firearms killings in the United States in 2020, about 35 percent more than in 2019, and 24,245 gun suicides, 1.5 percent more.
With 6.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants by 2020, firearms homicide rates are at a quarter-century high.
Mass shootings have also increased, according to Everytown.
“Since 2009, there have been 274 shootings in the United States, resulting in 1,536 shootings and deaths and 983 shootings and injuries,” the group said.
The country is floating at gunpoint. U.S. firearms manufacturers have produced 139 million guns for the commercial market over the two decades since 2000, and the country has imported another 71 million.
These include the high-powered assault rifle, available at $ 500, and the 9mm pistol, which combines easy-to-use, high-precision and semi-automatic triggers for as low as $ 200.
Gun laws have been relaxed in Texas
In each case, they have seized it, despite obstacles we can scarcely imagine. “
Last year, a Pew poll said only 53 percent of Americans want stricter gun laws, and only 49 percent think stricter laws would reduce mass shootings.
Politicians like Abbott have moved to simplify control instead. Last year, the governor of Texas signed a law allowing anyone over the age of 18 to carry a handgun openly without a license or training.
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand, a staff arm of Everitown, noted that Texas is one of the largest gun markets in the country and has a high firearm mortality rate.
Watts wrote on Twitter, “If more guns and fewer laws make Texas safer, it will be the safest state with a reduced rate of gun violence.” “It has a high rate of gun suicide and homicide and four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings.”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)