We’ve heard it again and again: If we weren’t able to pass gun reform after Sandy Hook, nothing will ever change.
While school shootings haven’t stopped, or even slowed, in the decade since Sandy Hook, progress has been made.
What Has Changed
- National Gun Safety Laws: Since 2012, three federal laws have passed under three administrations. Most recently, the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act provided more funding for violence intervention and mental health programs in schools.
- Public Opinion: In 2013, 81% of Americans supported background checks. Today, 92% support them. More than 1.2 million people have taken the extra step of signing the Sandy Hook Promise petition demanding Congress pass universal background checks.
- Community Awareness: In a landmark study, the United States Secret Service found that every thwarted school shooting since 2008 was stopped because people who saw something said something. In four out of five school shootings, at least one person had knowledge of the attacker’s plan, but didn’t report it. Since 2012, more than 150,000 anonymous tips have been shared through Say Something Anonymous.
- Background Check Loopholes: While 21 states, red and blue, expanded background checks on gun sales in the decade since Sandy Hook, Wisconsin has not. Republicans have repeatedly blocked proposals to require basic background screenings on purchases from unlicensed sellers at gun shows and/or online.
- The Number of Kids Killed by Guns: Each day, 12 children are shot and killed. Another 32 are injured. Guns are the leading cause of death for American children– five times more common than drowning. An estimated 4.6 million kids live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked.
- Short-Term Memories: Most shootings follow a predictable cycle– they happen, people are outraged, some send “thoughts and prayers,” and others call for change. Then, after a few weeks, life returns to normal– for everyone except the families whose son or daughter never will.
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