In guns we trust

Here is a graphic of the toll extracted by guns in America over the past seven years:

By Christopher Young,

Contributing Writer,

Gun Violence Archive (GVA) is an American nonprofit group which catalogs every incident of gun violence in the United States and has been doing so since 2014. It provides near real-time data and statistics, data which typically takes from several months to several years when distributed by the FBI and CIA.

Their website – – records police shooting injuries and deaths, mass shootings, individual gun related incidents, suicides, injuries, teen, child and adult related injuries and deaths.

This year, as of May 12, there have been 213 mass shootings in the United States, killing 96 and injuring 221 children ages 0-11, and killing 549 and injuring 1,340 children ages 12-17.

Not all gun deaths involve assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, “Once again I ask Congress to send me a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Enacting universal background checks. Requiring safe storage. Ending immunity for gun manufacturers. I will sign it immediately. We need nothing less to keep our streets safe,” Biden said on May, 7, 2023, per USA Today reporting.

Yet according to the Statista Research Department, “Handguns are the most common weapon type used in mass shootings in the United States, with a total of 161 different handguns being used in 111 incidents between 1982 and April 2023. These figures are calculated from a total of 142 reported cases over this period, meaning handguns are involved in about 78 percent of mass shootings.”

Due to the use of assault rifles in high-profile mass shootings, a statistically inordinate focus is placed on them. Statista further reports, “Since 1985 there has been a known total 58 mass shootings involving rifles, mostly semi-automatics.” Mass shootings at Las Vegas Strip massacre in 2017, Sandy Hook school in 2012, Orlando nightclub in 2016, and First Baptist Church in Texas in 2017, were four of the five worst in our history – assault rifles were used in those four.

When the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was voted on, all but 13 Republican Representatives voted against it, despite the bill being originally authored by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, he voted against its final passage. The act made various changes to federal firearms laws, including expanding background check requirements for gun purchasers under age 21, broadening the scope of existing restrictions, and establishing new criminal offenses. President Biden signed the Act into law on June 25, 2022, seven and a half months after it was introduced, with 193 Republican Representatives and 33 Republican Senators opposed. Among the 33 Republican Senators who voted against it were both of Mississippi’s Senators; Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith. Fourteen Republicans did support passage. 

On March 14, 2023, Biden issued Executive Order on Reducing Gun Violence and Making Our Communities Safer. This Executive Order increases the number of background checks by ensuring that all background checks required by law are conducted before firearm purchases, moving the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation. It Improves public awareness and increases appropriate use of extreme risk protection (“red flag”) orders and safe storage of firearms. It addresses the loss or theft of firearms during shipping. It provides the public and policymakers with more information regarding federally licensed firearms dealers who are violating the law.  It helps catch shooters by accelerating federal law enforcement’s reporting of ballistics data. It improves federal support for gun violence survivors, victims and survivors’ families, first responders to gun violence, and communities affected by gun violence, and much more, per White House.Gov.

There is a link between the rise of domestic terror and white supremacy. On Mother’s Day, the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Buffalo, NY where ten African Americans were killed by a white supremacist at a grocery store, ABC News reported that per Department of Homeland Security “in this one-year period there have been 650+ mass shootings and 40,000 gun-related deaths in America, and the majority of gun-related deaths in the country are racially motivated.”

It’s easy to see why, while delivering the commencement address at Howard University on May 13, 2023, President Biden stated that “the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is white supremacy.” His remarks draw from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security – Strategic Intelligence Assessment and Data on Domestic Terrorism, dated October 2022, which states in part, “In 2020, the FBI and DHS assessed racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism, primarily those advocating the superiority of the white race, likely would continue to be the most lethal category of the domestic terror threat to the homeland.”

As we watch innocent citizens and children die each day in the most powerful and affluent nation on earth, 45% of House members and 35% of Senate members push back against more gun control/safety reforms – they are overwhelming white elected officials. Is their pushback a form of white supremacy?

What has to happen before they are willing to legislate in a manner that reduces gun violence and saves American lives – regardless of race and ethnicity?

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