As the weather gets warmer across the country and people continue to resume in-person gatherings and organized sporting events, the specter of gun violence continues to haunt Americans wherever they gather – even at kids’ sporting events. In the past week alone, reporting shows gun violence has rocked youth sporting events in at least four states, sending children, parents, and spectators scrambling and leaving them traumatized. In North Charleston, South Carolina, shots rang out in the parking lot of a children’s baseball game. Days later in Chicago, players and attendees dove for safety as shots rang out near a high school baseball game. Over the weekend, two men were shot near a field where a youth flag football event was taking place in Manassas, Virginia, while in Westford, Massachusetts, a player’s dad brandished a gun at another parent at a youth basketball tournament.
These incidents come after one of the deadliest years on record for the United States. In 2021, gun homicides and non-suicide-related shootings took approximately 20,700 lives – and 2022 is on pace to be similarly devastating. Despite these staggering numbers, the United States Supreme Court stands poised to issue a ruling that could undermine gun safety laws in states across the country and lead to a significant increase in the number of firearms in public places.
Research shows that states with stronger gun laws, like policies requiring a permit to carry a concealed gun, have lower rates of gun violence while states with weaker gun laws, like those with permitless carry, have higher rates of gun violence. This comes as the Supreme Court is poised to rule on New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, a case that could undermine gun safety laws across the country. If the Supreme Court forces states to allow more guns into more hands in more public spaces it will threaten public safety and could lead to even more gun violence.
“Kids running from gunfire at sporting events is the logical, dystopian reality of the gun lobby’s deadly agenda: guns for anyone, anywhere, any time, no questions asked,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We cannot allow this to become the new normal in America. It is time for lawmakers to prioritize public safety to end the epidemic of gun violence.”
To speak to Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.