Firearms, gun control and politics 2022

Written by  //  August 5, 2022  //  Justice & Law  //  No comments

Mass Shootings in 2022

Updated 25 May
More than 311,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine
The Washington Post has spent years tracking how many children have been exposed to gun violence during school hours since the Columbine High massacre in 1999.
Beyond the dead and wounded, children who witness the violence or cower behind locked doors to hide from it can be profoundly traumatized..

Canada to ban handgun import until passage of gun control law
(Reuters) – Canada said on Friday it would temporarily ban the import of restricted handguns from Aug. 19 in a move designed to indirectly achieve goals of a gun control legislation proposed in May.
The import ban would stay in place until a national freeze on handguns comes into force, the Canadian government said in a statement.

22 July
Controversial new California gun control law mimics Texas abortion measure
Don Thompson
(AP) California punched back Friday against two recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions as Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he will sign a controversial, first-in-the-nation gun control law patterned after a Texas anti-abortion law.
His action comes one month after conservative justices overturned women’s constitutional right to abortions and undermined gun control laws in states including California.
Newsom stitched the two hot-button topics together in approving a law allowing people to sue anyone who distributes illegal assault weapons, parts that can be used to build weapons, guns without serial numbers or .50 caliber rifles. They would be awarded at least $10,000 in civil damages for each weapon, plus attorneys fees.

8 July
Most gun owners favor modest restrictions but deeply distrust government, poll finds
(NPR) The overwhelming majority of gun owners are in favor of universal background checks, of raising the minimum age to buy guns to 21 and so-called “red flag” laws to remove guns from potentially dangerous people, a new NPR/Ipsos survey finds.
But most of these gun owners also don’t want to see an AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon ban, doubt new gun-control measures would do anything to stop mass shootings and Republican gun owners in particular think passing new gun control laws is a slippery slope toward taking all guns away.

4 July
The attack in Highland Park was not the only shooting over a violent holiday weekend.
The attack at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade was the largest and highest-profile shooting, but far from the only one, over the holiday weekend.
As of early Monday morning, at least 57 people had been shot in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend, nine of them fatally, according to NBC Chicago. That did not include the toll from the Highland Park shooting outside the city.
… In Philadelphia, two police officers were shot near the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday night. Both officers were transported to the Jefferson University Hospital and are in stable condition, according to the hospital’s media officers.
Before that, there were mass shootings over the weekend in Mullins, S.C.; Tacoma, Wash.; Manassas, Va.; Clinton, N.C.; Haltom City, Texas; and New York City

24-25 June
Biden Signs Gun Bill Into Law, Ending Years of Stalemate
The bill is the most significant gun measure to clear Congress in nearly three decades, though it falls short of more restrictive gun control proposals that Democrats favor.
The House has passed the gun control bill. The next stop is Biden’s desk
(NPR) The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill on gun safety 234-193 on Friday, exactly one month after a mass shooting in Texas took the lives of 19 children and two adults.
The Senate passed its version of the bill late on Thursday night by a 65-33 vote, and it now goes to President Biden to sign into law.
It is the first gun control measure to come out of Congress in nearly three decades.
The narrow bill focuses on mental health and school safety, and includes incentives for states to pass so-called red flag laws.

23 June
Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law Limiting Guns in Public
(NYT) The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Americans have a broad right to arm themselves in public, striking down a New York law that placed strict limits on carrying guns outside the home and setting off a scramble in other states that have similar restrictions.
The decision is expected to spur a wave of lawsuits seeking to loosen existing state and federal restrictions and will force five states — California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey, home to a quarter of all Americans — to rewrite their laws.

9 June
The Ruthless Rise of a Gunmaker
Daniel Defense established itself by allegedly undercutting a business partner and preying on American paranoia.
(New York) Daniel and his company bulldozed their way into the multibillion-dollar firearms industry, establishing themselves with lucrative government contracts before pivoting to sell weapons to consumers by stoking fears that, at any moment, the government may come for their guns. Their trajectory tracks that of the AR15-style rifle they sell, a once-niche product that is now ubiquitous as a firearm and political symbol. Daniel Defense was virtually unknown outside of the world of gun enthusiasts until one of their customers last month legally purchased a DD4 rifle and used it to kill 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

29 May
Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention?
(Politico) Mass shooters overwhelmingly fit a certain profile, say Jillian Peterson and James Densley, which means it’s possible to ID and treat them before they commit violence.
Their findings, also published in the 2021 book, The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic, reveal striking commonalities among the perpetrators of mass shootings and suggest a data-backed, mental health-based approach could identify and address the next mass shooter before he pulls the trigger — if only politicians are willing to actually engage in finding and funding targeted solutions.

15 June
Toiling to Complete a Gun Bill, Two Parties Part Ways on Its Reach
Democrats are praising a bipartisan agreement on guns as sweeping and significant while Republicans point to its limits, a sign of the political divide standing in the way of a final deal.

12 June
It’s a beginning, even if not nearly enough.

Senate negotiators announce a deal on guns, breaking logjam

(AP) — Senate bargainers on Sunday announced the framework of a bipartisan response to last month’s mass shootings, a noteworthy but limited breakthrough offering modest gun curbs and stepped-up efforts to improve school safety and mental health programs.
The proposal falls far short of tougher steps long sought by President Joe Biden and many Democrats. Even so, the accord was embraced by Biden and enactment would signal a significant turnabout after years of gun massacres that have yielded little but stalemate in Congress.
Senators strike bipartisan gun deal, heralding potential breakthrough
(WaPo) A bipartisan group of senators announced Sunday that it had reached a tentative agreement on legislation that would pair modest new gun restrictions with significant new mental health and school security investments — a deal that could put Congress on a path to enacting the most significant national response in decades to acts of mass gun violence.
Twenty senators — 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans — signed a statement announcing the framework deal. The move indicated that the agreement could have enough GOP support to defeat a filibuster, the Senate super-majority rule that has impeded previous gun legislation.

11 June
‘Enough is enough’: Thousands demand new gun safety laws</strong>
(AP) — Thousands of people rallied on the National Mall and across the United States on Saturday in a renewed push for gun control measures after recent deadly mass shootings from Uvalde, Texas, to Buffalo, New York, that activists say should compel Congress to act.
Speaker after speaker in Washington called on senators, who are seen as a major impediment to legislation, to act or face being voted out of office, especially given the shock to the nation’s conscience after 19 children and two teachers were killed May 24 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

9 June
Trudeau’s sweeping gun control bill is no knee-jerk reaction
By David Moscrop
(WaPo) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government announced firearm-control legislation. Bill C-21 includes a suite of measures to regulate and limit guns in the country. Central to that plan is a freeze on buying, selling or transferring handguns. But that’s not all. On top of the current assault rifle ban and prohibition on owning “assault-style weapons,” the proposed changes would limit magazine capacity, remove gun licenses from domestic abusers, ban the sale of certain toy guns that look like the real thing, and create red- and yellow-flag laws to remove firearms from those who might be a risk to themselves or others. The legislation also would boost penalties for gun crimes and increase police officers’ ability to deal with weapons-trafficking and gun violence.

2-3 June
Biden Calls for Ban on Assault Weapons and New ‘Red Flag’ Laws
The president said the measures were “not about taking away anyone’s guns.” He also acknowledged that Congress might not come to a consensus, even as the nation grieves the victims of several mass shootings.
In a rare evening address to the nation, Mr. Biden dared Republicans to ignore the repeated convulsions of anger and grief from gun violence by continuing to block gun measures supported by large majorities in both parties, and even among gun owners. (Transcript)
‘Not if but When’: More Mass Shootings Add to Weary Nation’s Grief
Since the devastating attack on an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last week, mass shootings around the country have been relentless, coming at a pace of more than two a day.
Some 20 shootings in which at least four people were hurt or killed have unfolded in a matter of nine days, according to data from the The Gun Violence Archive.

30 May
National handgun freeze key feature of new firearm-control bill
(CTV) A national freeze on importing, buying or selling handguns is a central feature of firearm-control legislation tabled today [30 May] by the federal Liberals.
The government says the bill would also allow for the removal of gun licences from people involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking
The government plans to fight gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing criminal penalties, providing more tools to investigate firearms crimes and strengthening border measures.

27 May
At N.R.A. Convention, the Blame Is on ‘Evil,’ Not Guns
One by one, the gun rights activists and politicians who showed up at the National Rifle Association convention on Friday said they were appalled, horrified and shaken by the massacre of 19 children and two adults a few days earlier in Uvalde, Texas.
One by one, they then rejected any suggestion that gun control measures were needed to stop mass shootings.
Fact-Checking Trump and Cruz at the N.R.A. Convention
The former president and the Texas senator made inaccurate or misleading claims about the efficacy of gun restrictions, gun ownership trends and school shootings.

26 May
Why Republicans Won’t Budge on Guns
Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans support some restrictions on firearms, but G.O.P. lawmakers fear they would pay a steep political price for embracing them.
Most Republicans in the Senate represent deeply conservative states where gun ownership is treated as a sacred privilege enshrined in the Constitution, a privilege not to be infringed upon no matter how much blood is spilled in classrooms and school hallways around the country.
“We don’t want to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican, explaining why members of his party have no interest in imposing new regulations on gun purchases, even after the murder of 19 children and two teachers, the latest in a seemingly unending series of shooting massacres in the United States.
Heather Cox Richardson May 26, 2022
In the 1950s, the idea of an individual hardworking man taking care of his family and beholden to no one was an attractive image to those who disliked government protection of civil rights, and politicians who wanted to dissolve business regulation pulled them into the Republican Party by playing to the mythology of movie heroes like John Wayne. Part of that mythology, of course, was the idea that men with guns could defend their families, religion, and freedom against a government trying to crush them. …
There are still many, many questions about what happened in Uvalde, but it seems clear that the heroes protecting the children were not the guys with guns, but the moms and the dads and the two female teachers who died trying to protect their students: Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia.
Texas lawmakers take home large portion of gun lobby dollars
(Axios) Congress members with the most contributions from gun rights groups
Details: Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both Republicans, are among the top three lawmakers whose campaigns or PACs have accepted the most money from the gun rights lobby.
Why it matters: Lobbying groups spend big on lawmakers to directly influence policy. Powerful interest groups like the NRA, can be what stands in the way of gun safety legislation.
State of play: Three members of the Texas delegation make the list: Cruz at No. 1, Cornyn at No. 3 and U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions at No. 9. (emphasis added)
Combined, they have collected more than $1 million from the gun lobby since they first arrived in Congress.
Of note: The figures are much higher if you count indirect contributions, like the NRA’s purchase of attack ads against opponents.

24 May
FBI: US ‘active shooter’ incidents jumped by 52 percent in 2021
The numbers were released days after a gunman killed 10 in a in a racist attack in Buffalo, New York.
There were 61 “active shooter” incidents in the United States in 2021, according to newly released FBI data – a 52 percent increase from the previous year and the highest on record.
Last year’s attack spread across 30 states, leaving 103 people dead and 140 wounded, the report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said on Monday.
The report was released just over a week after a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people. The racist attack drew attention to increasingly mainstream white supremacy ideology and renewed calls for increased federal gun control in the US.
The FBI noted that its active shooter report does not encompass all gun violence or even all mass shootings. The Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit tracker, has recorded 211 mass shootings in just the first five months of 2022 alone
19 children and two adults are killed in a Texas elementary school shooting, the authorities say.
(NYT) A gunman killed at least 19 children and two adults on Tuesday in a rural Texas elementary school, a state police official said, in the deadliest American school shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary a decade ago.
The slayings took place just before noon at Robb Elementary School, where second through fourth graders in Uvalde, a small city west of San Antonio, were preparing to start summer break this week. At least one teacher was among the adults killed, and several other children were wounded.
Democrats moved quickly to clear the way for votes on legislation to strengthen background checks for gun purchasers.
The pair of bills would expand criminal background checks to would-be gun buyers on the internet and at gun shows and lengthen the waiting period for gun buyers flagged by the instant background check system to allow more time for the F.B.I. to investigate. The measures, passed by the House in 2019 and again last year, have languished in the Senate amid Republican opposition. Even as they publicly mourned the massacre that killed 18 children and a teacher on Monday, Republican senators gave little indication that their positions had changed.

14 May
Gunman Kills 10 at Buffalo Supermarket in Racist Attack
President Biden called for a thorough investigation, and said there was no harbor for “hate-filled domestic terrorism.” The 18-year-old white gunman, who pleaded not guilty, left behind a manifesto.
(NYT) A teenage gunman entranced by a white supremacist ideology known as replacement theory opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo on Saturday, methodically shooting and killing 10 people and injuring three more, almost all of them Black, in one of the deadliest racist massacres in recent American history.
The authorities identified the gunman as 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, a small town in New York’s rural Southern Tier. Mr. Gendron drove more than 200 miles to mount his attack, which he also livestreamed, the police said, a chilling video feed that appeared designed to promote his sinister agenda.
In Buffalo and some other mass shootings, a shared racist belief that white people could be wiped away.
Through the 180 pages of hate-filled writings that Payton S. Gendron posted online, a common theme emerged: The notion that white Americans are at risk of being replaced by people of color.
Gunmen have referenced the racist idea, known as “replacement theory,” during a string of mass shootings and other violence in recent years. It was once associated with the far-right fringe, but has become increasingly mainstream, pushed by politicians and popular television programs.

3 April
At Least 6 Dead and 12 Wounded in Mass Shooting in Sacramento, Police Say
Multiple shooters were involved in the incident that occurred outside crowded bars downtown early Sunday, according to authorities.
The mass shooting was the second in just over a month in Sacramento. In late February, a father killed his three young daughters, a chaperone and himself in a church during a supervised custody visitation.
[Gunman Kills His 3 Children in a Sacramento County Church] Sunday’s death toll is the highest in the state in a single event since last year, when 10 people were fatally shot in San Jose

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