More than 2,000 people have been killed in the U.S. since the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. That’s according to Slate.com, who along with the Twitter feed @GunDeaths, have been compiling statistics shortly after one of the worst mass shootings in American history.
In explaining the project, Slate writers Chris Kirk and Dan Kois state the data published online is “necessarily incomplete.” That’s due to the notion that other deaths by a firearm aren’t discovered by @GunDeaths, in particular death by suicide, which the writers say “typically go unreported.”
Since the Sandy Hook shootings last December, there have been multiple people shot and killed every single day in the country. Equally as alarming is a recent study by Mayors Against Illegal Guns disclosing 43 mass shootings, nearly one every month since January 2009 in America.
With multiple killings occurring every single day and the fear of another mass shooting, the issue of gun control has become one of the country’s top priorities. In a USA Today/Pew Research Center poll released today, 50% Americans say it’s more important to control the ownership of guns versus 46 percent who place more importance on the right of Americans to own guns. Another report today from the Gallup Poll offers additional evidence that a majority of Americans are in favor of gun controls with 58 percent saying laws on the sale of firearms should be more strict versus 34 percent who say the laws should be kept the same and just six percent that believe the laws should be less strict.
While the issue remains sharply divided amongst party lines, the fact that Americans are being killed by firearms each day should lend credence to the notion that something needs to be done. Perhaps the most vocal advocate of stricter gun control, the Brady Campaign states that on the national average, more than 31,000 people are killed by gun violence, with nearly 3,000 of those total aged 19 or younger. Those statistics are supported by findings by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The Slate-@Deaths Project has not surprisingly, been criticized by gun rights advocates, but, the effort to disclose the violence by firearms is a daily reminder that whatever policies are currently in place aren't effective. Whether there is change to the gun laws this year is still uncertain, but if or more realistically, when another mass shooting occurs like Sandy Hook, and statistics say it will be soon, the issue must continue to be discussed to ensure the safety of everyone, especially the nation's children.