After the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, parents of murdered children set out to implement tougher federal gun laws. Nearly a decade later, their advocacy finally found success.
In June, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act which, although limited in scope, offers the most significant federal firearm rules in nearly three decades. Still, Newtown parents are faced with a harrowing reality: while mass school shootings remain statistically rare and campuses have become safer in recent decades, active mass shootings — where gunmen open fire indiscriminately in populated areas and kill four or more people — have become more frequent and more fatal in the years since Sandy Hook, the deadliest K-12 school shooting in U.S. history.
Mass Shootings Since Newtown
We set out to document the toll as firearm deaths — including those from suicides, assaults and accidents — become the leading cause of death among U.S. children. Between the Sandy Hook tragedy and the law’s passage, we found that such active shootings resulted in at least 490 deaths and 1,293 injuries, according to an analysis of data compiled by The Violence Project and the Gun Violence Archive.
There is no universal definition of mass shootings, with some trackers using looser guidelines than those employed here. Taking a cue from The Violence Project, the map reflects parameters employed by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
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