As the country continues to reel from Tuesday’s horrific shooting in Uvalde, Texas where 19 students and two teachers were shot and killed, dozens of shootings across Memorial Day weekend highlight the urgency for the Senate to take action to end the gun violence epidemic.
According to Buzzfeed News, at least 130 people were shot and killed over the holiday weekend in shootings like the one at a graduation party in Alabama on Friday in which at least six people were shot and wounded, a party in Tennessee in which at least six people were shot and wounded, a festival in Oklahoma on Sunday in which at least one person was shot and killed and seven more injured, and in Benton Harbor where six people were shot, including one fatally.
While these types of shootings are less likely to grab national headlines, they represent the majority of gun violence in the United States, in which 110 people are shot and killed every day on average and hundreds more are wounded.
“Mass shootings are the tip of the iceberg in this country’s gun violence crisis. It’s important to recognize that people are dying every single day from gun violence that doesn’t make national headlines. I know first-hand that gun violence can strike anywhere any time,” said Melody McFadden, a Moms Demand Action volunteer, Everytown Veterans Advisory Council member, and gun violence survivor whose mother was shot and killed in a domestic violence situation, and whose niece was shot and killed in Myrtle Beach by a stray bullet. “But whether we’re talking about the daily gun violence that contributes to the more than 110 gun deaths each day in the US or mass shootings, gun violence is preventable through common-sense measures — but only if the Senate takes action.”
On Friday, Everytown for Gun Safety announced six things the Senate can do to help stop senseless shootings across the country. These include:
- Expanding background checks to all gun sales: Nobody should be allowed to purchase a gun without a background check. Period.
- Passing a federal Red Flag law: Every community needs to have a Red Flag law that gives them a tool to temporarily remove guns from someone who has shown clear warning signs that they pose a danger to themselves or others.
- Confirming Steve Dettelbach as ATF Director: The agency that enforces our gun laws and proactively shuts off the pipeline of illegal guns has been understaffed and under-resourced for 20 years. The Senate needs to give it the resources it needs and confirm Steve Dettelbach as Director so it can do its job.
- Regulating Assault Weapons: We need to take a long, hard look at how assault weapons are made, marketed and sold to keep these weapons of war off of our streets and out of the hands of violent extremists.
- Raising the age to purchase a gun: The law already prevents anyone under 21 from buying a handgun from a gun dealer but teenagers and reckless youth have no business owning an assault weapon and we should raise the age to purchase these weapons across the country.
- Repealing The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA): The gun industry has had a get out of jail free card for too long. It’s time for the gun industry to face the same kind of accountability as every other manufacturer of consumer products for its role in the gun violence crisis – and lose its special protection.