"The Year In Guns: What Has Happened — And What Has Not — Since Newtown"
One year ago, the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary began a nationwide debate about gun violence prevention. The conversation that followed led to at least three new national groups advocating for reform, 23 executive actions signed by President Obama, and stronger state gun laws protecting roughly half of Americans. To the disappointment of anti-gun violence advocates, Congress failed to pass a single reform addressing the 6 million gun purchases that slip through a weak background check system.
Here is a look at where gun violence and the movement against gun violence stand one year since Newtown:
At least 27 school shootings: Between the Sandy Hook shooting and December 4, there were 27 other school shootings that caused at least 20 injuries. According to the group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, they occurred in Southgate, MI; Cincinnati, OH; Gray, ME; Austin, TX; Algona, IA; Rapid City, SD; Orlando, FL; Decatur, GA; Fort Myers, FL; Taft, CA; St. Louis, MO; Hazard, KY; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Atlanta, GA; San Leandro, CA; Cambridge, MA; Santa Monica, CA; West Palm Beach, FL; Clarksville, TN; Memphis, TN; Winston-Salem, NC; Pine Hills, FL; Sparks, NV; Greensboro, NC; and Stone Mountain, GA.
194 children killed: A Mother Jones analysis found at least 194 children under 12 have been killed since the Sandy Hook shooting. Most children were killed at home, accidentally or due to domestic violence, because of a gun kept in the house. The average child was 6 years old.
1,500 state bills introduced: According to the New York Times, of the 109 bills that passed, 39 promote gun violence prevention, while 70 loosen the law to allow guns in schools, bars, or exempt concealed carry from background checks, and more. Nine laws passed by states loosen restrictions of guns in schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee. North Carolina, Kansas, and Arkansas made it easier to bring guns onto college campuses, as well.
23 executive actions and 1 bill passed by Congress: Obama signed 23 executive actions promoting gun safety earlier this year. The Senate failed to pass background checks legislation, making Congress’ only action this year reauthorizing the Undetectable Firearms Act, which bans plastic firearms that go unnoticed by a metal detector.
189 million people: By a Mother Jones count, 189 million people live in states that strengthened gun laws since Newtown, and 185 million live in states that weakened them.
More than 225,000 advocates join anti-gun violence groups: Reform advocates have joined forces post-Newtown in at least three new groups, indicating a growing national movement for reform. Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense and Gabby Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions together count more than 225,000 members. Another 274,000 have signed the Sandy Hook Promise advocating for gun violence prevention.
$1.8 million: The Center for Responsive Politics showed $1.8 million spent on federal lobbying for gun violence prevention this year, nine times the amount as the year before. The National Rifle Association and its allies still outspend the other side on lobbying, however, doubling its spending to $13 million.
5 million: In May, the National Rifle Association reported it grew to more than 5 million members. It did not report how many members withdrew over the NRA’s position against gun violence bills, but there was some public backlash.