There have been at least 146 mass shootings across the United States so far this year. Figures from the Gun Violence Archive – a non-profit research database – show that the number of mass shootings has gone up significantly in recent years. In each of the last three years, there have been more than 600 mass shootings, almost two a day on average.
Following the increasing number of mass shootings happening across the country, lawmakers in many states have taken measures for gun control. But, not in Texas.
Texas, recently passed another gun-friendly law — the Permitless Carry Bill — a law making it legal for anyone in Texas over the age of 21 to openly carry a gun in public without a permit or license.
According to the Austin-based non-profit news website Reform Austin, since Texas passed the Permitless Carry Bill, the number of mass shootings has risen by 62.5 percent in the state.
Evidently, changing gun laws has decreased suicides and shootings drastically in different parts of the world. The best recent example is Australia. The tough new laws in Australia banned the sale and importation of all automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. It forced people to present a legitimate reason and wait 28 days to buy a firearm. The massive, mandatory gun buyback confiscated and destroyed nearly 700,000 firearms in Australia, reducing the number of gun-owning households by half, according to Australian government reports.
American experts also believe that a collection of reforms is necessary to help curb the number of mass shootings reported in the country. But not every expert.
Republican Consultant and Travis County GOP Chair Matt Mackowiak says that disarming legal gun owners is not the answer.
Then, what is his solution? He believes that instead of disarming legal gun owners, increasing security in public places, especially schools, is more practical.
“You don’t see mass shootings in airports and federal courthouses where there is tight security.” That is because we have decided that those places are very important. Parents right now are worried if their kids are safe in schools. “We should increase the security of these places,” Mackowiak added.
He agreed that there is no question that the United States has more gun violence than any other country in the world. He also stated that there is no question that some countries that have taken gun control very seriously, like Australia and others, have seen gun violence decrease significantly. However, he noted that the Second Amendment is a constitutional right and that it is kind of ingrained in the American identity.
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. This amendment has caused considerable debate regarding the scope of the amendment. Under this “individual right theory,” the United States Constitution restricts legislative bodies from prohibiting firearm possession.
“Since countries like Australia didn’t have a Second Amendment, changing gun laws or taking that constitutional right away wasn’t very controversial,” he said. “It is impossible to get rid of guns in America.” First of all, there would be a civil war if that ever happened. It would be horrific. Second of all, how would you even practically do it? Would the police do it? “Would troops do it?” Mackowiak asked.
Although guns are deeply ingrained in American society and the nation’s political debates, there have been attempts to restrict their usage. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden and other policymakers proposed new restrictions on firearm access in an effort to address gun violence, ranging from rising murder rates in some major cities to mass shootings.
What about Americans’ attitudes about gun violence, gun policy, and other subjects? Around half of Americans (48%) see gun violence as a very big problem in the country today, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in April 2021.
Roughly half of Americans (53%) favor stricter gun laws, a decline since 2019, according to the Center’s April 2021 survey. Smaller shares say these laws are about right (32%) or should be less strict (14%). The share of Americans who say gun laws should be stricter has decreased from 60% in September 2019.
Americans are divided over whether restricting legal gun ownership would lead to fewer mass shootings. About half of adults (49%) say there would be fewer mass shootings if it were harder for people to obtain guns legally, while about as many either say this would make no difference (42%), or that there would be more mass shootings (9%).
However, an analysis by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune of hundreds of bills filed in the Texas Legislature over nearly the past six decades found that at least two dozen measures would have prevented people from legally obtaining the weapons, including assault rifles and large-capacity magazines, used in seven of the state’s mass shootings.
The analysis also found that at least five bills would have required that people seeking to obtain a gun undergo a background check. Seven bills would have banned the sale or possession of the semi-automatic rifle that a shooter used to kill dozens of people at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart in 2019. And at least two bills would have raised the legal age to own or purchase an assault weapon from 18 to 21 years old, which would have made it illegal for the Uvalde shooter to buy the semi-automatic assault rifles.
On May 24, 2022, a mass shooting occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old former student at the school fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers, while injuring seventeen others.