The evening after the Las Vegas tragedy, I was talking to another editor on the Ohio State Odyssey team. Everyone around us was filled with sadness, with hope for the future, and prayers. We were also filled with those feelings, but we were also filled with anger. I read the news that morning full of fury, shaking, and with angry tears streaming down my face because this was preventable. This didn't have to happen. Those people could have lived long, happy, beautiful lives if we had gun control laws.
After Columbine, we said never again. After Aurora, Colorado, we said never again. After Sandy Hook, we said never again. After the Pulse nightclub shooting, we said never again.
And yet, here we are anyway. Since Sandy Hook, there have been 1,518 mass shootings.
Let me reiterate that number again: 1,518 mass shootings since December 2012.
There have been 1,715 people killed in mass shootings, and 6,089 people injured. This has all been tracked by the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks gun events at which 4 or more people are shot. This database isn't complete, and probably never will be. Some events aren't reported, others are missing details. That's still a horrifyingly high number. And, gun violence is increasing. More scarily, mass shootings are increasing.
How much are they increasing? On average, there is one mass shooting for every day in the calendar year. A common argument in gun legislation debate is that you shouldn't cheapen a tragedy by bringing politics into it. However, as there is a mass shooting for every day of the year, there is never a good time to talk about the gun debate.
And you know what would stop mass shootings? Gun control.
Closing the gun show loophole. Imposing mandatory background checks when attempting to purchase a gun. Waiting periods. Limits on the number of bullets you can buy at one time.
How many people have to die before we close loopholes, before we impose tighter restrictions on guns, before we stop letting innocent men, women, and children die in senseless acts of terror? How many CHILDREN are we going to let die before we stop satisfying the right and the NRA who owns their asses? After Sandy Hook, we said never again. And yet here we are anyway.
We decided that pieces of metal were more important than our children. We decided that it should be easier to get a gun in this country than to protect your family from getting murdered in cold blood. We decided to let the NRA dictate our legislation on gun control, rather than allowing statistics to dictate legislation. We decided that the lives of our citizens, our neighbors, and our families were worth less than our ability to obtain machine guns.
After Sandy Hook, we said never again. And yet here we are anyway.