Saturday, December 14, is the first anniversary of the ghastly unprovoked attack on innocents at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and to mark the occasion Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is holding “No More Silence” anti-gun memorial rallies in 35 states in an attempt to energize the push for more gun control.
“Each event will include a communal ringing of bells — a moment of No More Silence,” according to the group's website. “Something changed after Sandy Hook,” Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts was quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek saying. “We can’t unring the bell, and we will be heard. This is not the America I want for my children.”
At the moment Watts’ efforts are being challenged by a rising tide of resistance. In April President Obama was visibly angry over the Senate’s rejection of a gun control bill he favored. And although five states enacted tougher gun control laws in the wake of the Newtown shooting, another 16 states reacted to it by relaxing gun restrictions. The attack on Friday at a Colorado school not far from the scene of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 is so far failing to catch anything like the attention the national media lavished on Newtown.
Pew Research Center’s study released in May noted the declining trend in violent crime which is now half what it was just 20 years ago. The study found that there were fewer firearm homicides in 2011 than in 1993 despite the growth in U.S. population from 260 million to over 309 million — nearly a 20-percent increase. Pew also deflated Watts’ efforts when it observed that while “mass shootings are a matter of great public interest and concern ... they are also a relatively small share of shootings overall.” It added:
According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics review, homicides that claimed at least three lives accounted for less than 1% of all homicide deaths from 1980 to 2008.
And then, to prove the point, Pew went on to say that there is good evidence to show a direct link between increasing gun ownership and decreasing gun violence. This puts the lie to the shibboleth claimed by gun controllers that more guns equals more crime.
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Photo of children being led from Sandy Hook Elementary School following shooting: AP Images