Since December 14, 2012, when 20 children and six adult staff members were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Congress has debated but failed to pass any measure restricting access to high-capacity magazines that can inflict mass violence or strengthening background checks for gun buyers, while more than 2200 people have been killed by guns. In fact, some state legislators responded to the tragedy at Sandy Hook by introducing bills that would make guns and ammunition more accessible.
The Huffington Post created this real-time map of gun deaths in America since Newtown. Recording every gun-involved murder and accidental shooting death in United States media reports since December 14, 2012, the Huffington Post found that in the little more than three months since the second deadliest school shooting in American history, there have been at least 2244 gun deaths.
The Newtown shootings have prompted debate about gun control in the United States, and new federal legislation banning the sale and manufacture of certain types of semi-automatic weapons and magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition has been proposed.
Yet state legislators in Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas, and Arizona have moved to loosen their controls on firearms. In Arkansas, for example, the Church Protection Act, which allows holders of concealed-carry permits to bring their gun into churches, passed the state’s Republican-controlled Senate by an overwhelming majority and was signed into law by Democratic Governor Mike Beebe on February 11.
In Alabama, which has the third highest rate of gun violence in the country, the Republican-controlled Senate is considering a bill, SB 177, that would prohibit municipalities from enacting gun-control ordinances related to rifles; Alabama law already prevents cities from regulating handguns. And Alabama Senate Bill 70 seeks to exempt Alabama from federal gun control measures that have not yet passed. It would render unenforceable “any federal law attempting to ban semi-automatic firearms or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm” or “any other limitation on firearms in this state” and make it a felony for any federal official to enforce federal gun laws in Alabama.
In Kentucky, the state Senate voted 34 to 3 on February 25 to approve a similar bill outlawing the enforcement of federal gun laws that do not yet exist.
The general population, including gun owners, overwhelmingly support stricter background check measures, and a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found American support for stricter gun laws at its highest level in a decade.