- In America, 16,000 people are killed by guns each year.
- In 2012, 16 mass shootings killed 88 people.
- While reasonable gun regulations cannot prevent all gun violence, such laws can reduce it.
- A look back at the mass shootings at Virginia Tech, Aurora, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin and Newtown shows how.
Virginia Tech: On April 16, 2006, one of the deadliest mass shootings in America occurred. A senior at the college named Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded several others during a violent killing spree. Cho had been previously diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder and was adjudicated to be mentally unstable. Despite this, Cho was able to legally purchase handguns without detection because of loopholes in laws relating to background checks. If universal background checks had been in place, he could not have bought the guns he used.
Aurora: On July 20, 2012, 12 people were killed and 70 others were injured during a shooting in an Aurora, CO movie theater. The alleged shooter James Holmes, used several weapons including a semi-automatic rifle. Holmes also allegedly had a 100-round magazine equipped to the rifle, which he fired about 45 times before fleeing from the theater where the shooting took place. If assault weapons and high capacity magazines were banned, mass shootings such as the one that took place in Aurora could have been lessened or prevented.
Sikh Temple: On August 5th, 2012, 6 people were killed and 15 wounded during a shooting inside a Wisconsin Sikh Temple. The shooter, Wade Page, killed himself when the police arrived. Not wanting to be taken alive, he had limited time to kill and wound. The magazines he used with his weapons allowed him to fire more times before he shot himself. If magazine capacity was limited, Page would have been reloading more often and would have had less time to kill before the police arrived.
Newtown: On December 14, 2012, twenty six people were killed in Newtown, CT by Adam Lanza. Twenty of them were first graders. Lanza used two pistols, a semiautomatic rifle, and large magazine clips. Not wanting to be taken alive, Lanza had limited time to kill before the police arrived. If he had not had a rapid-fire assault rifle and high capacity magazine clips, he could not have fired as many shots during the short interval before the police arrived. Also, while Lanza was reloading, some children were able to escape. Gun regulations may not have stopped the Newtown shooting – but would have saved some children’s lives
- If sensible gun control legislation were in place, events like these could be lessened or prevented.
- Background checks stop criminals and mentally unstable people from purchasing guns.
- Banning assault weapons and limiting magazine size forces shooters to reload more often. Fewer shots are fired before the police arrive. People have a chance to escape.
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