Gun control is an issue that has long divided the United States with one side calling for stricter gun laws and the other dubbing it as oppression. While a compromise is typically met, the number of mass shootings continues to plague the nation. However, the past few years have seen the number of shootings increase with little to no solutions provided.
On Tuesday, nineteen children and two teachers were robbed of their lives when a mass shooting occurred at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The event that transpired became the second deadliest school shooting on record and became the 212th mass shooting in the United States for the year 2022 alone.
The shooting prompted voices to once again cry out for gun control measures, but recent history indicates that those cries will remain unheard in the Congress as gun control measures have become increasingly scarce in most states. There are a few exceptions as several Democratic-controlled states have prioritized its citizens, but the majority have decided to take no action in recent years. Instead, they started moving the opposite direction, expanding gun rights.
The reason can be found in the fact that they are either politically controlled by Republicans who oppose gun restrictions or they remain politically divided, often a precursor to a stalemate.
“Here I am, in a position where I can do something – I can introduce legislation, and yet, to know that it almost certainly is not going to go anywhere is a feeling of helplessness,” admitted Sen. Greg Leding, a Democrat in the GOP-controlled Arkansas Legislature. He was unsuccessful in the push for red flag laws that would have allowed authorities to remove firearms from people who were deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
Florida is an exception to the Republican practices when lawmakers passed a law with a red flag provision. Their decision came after the 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland that took the lives of 14 students and three staff members.
In the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting, Republicans called for more efforts to address mental health. Sharing their sentiments is Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who cited the fruitlessness of tough gun laws in New York and California. Instead, he emphasized the need to add more security guards despite how the shooter had managed to bypass two officers and wounding two others in a shootoff.