The New York Times took a look at the federal legislative options being considered to curb mass shootings in the U.S. by analyzing the Violence Project Mass Shooter Database.
That analysis found 4 measures currently proposed by Democrats in Congress that might have changed the course of at least 35 mass shootings that killed a combined 482 people.
The New York Times assessed four key gun-control proposals currently before Congress and found that they could have changed the course of dozens of mass shootings since the Columbine massacre in 1999. https://t.co/YbS6nB39wQ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 5, 2022
Those four measures and the related data are:
• Raising the minimum age to purchase certain guns to 21: Four gunmen were under the age of 21 and purchased their weapons (military assault-style rifles) legally. Had the minimum age been raised, 56 lives might have been saved. Age-based restrictions could also help save individual lives regarding suicide, a leading cause of death among young Americans.
• Expanding background checks to cover private sales: At least four attackers purchased a weapon from a private seller in a state where background checks were not required for such sales. Had this law been in effect, 29 lives lost in those four attacks might have been saved.
• Encouraging safe gun storage and punishing people who fail to secure guns from children and criminals: 10% of mass shootings involved a stolen gun. According to the database, 86 lives might have been saved with such a law in place.
• Banning the sale of large-capacity magazines: Extended magazines were used in a fifth of shootings leading to the deaths of 311.
Two additional measures under consideration which might have saved lives:
• Expanding red-flag laws to remove guns from people in crisis: In 46 percent of shootings, an attacker expressed interest in harming others. In 36 percent, at least one attacker was previously known to be suicidal.
• Banning so-called assault weapons: 30 percent of shootings involved guns that were banned under the now-expired 1994 federal assault-weapons law.
With all of that being said, the NY Times notes: “The measure that seems most likely to achieve bipartisan support in the Senate — a broader background check law — would have had a clear influence on only a handful of shootings.”
Read the full analysis here.
It’s worth noting that a new ABC News/Ipsos poll shows 70% of Americans think enacting new gun control laws should take precedence over protecting ownership rights.
Unsurprisingly, 90% of Democrats and 75% of independents felt new gun laws should take priority while 56% of Republicans in the poll said protecting gun ownership rights was more important.
In the wake of multiple mass shootings, Americans overwhelmingly prioritize gun control over ownership rights, according to a new poll.
— Axios (@axios) June 5, 2022
— Max Bradley (@MRMAXBRADLEY_) June 5, 2022