Decade after Sandy Hook school shooting sees no action on gun control
Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 young children and six adult staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012. The anniversary of one of the most shocking in the string of U.S. school shootings that spans decades will intensify pressure on President Joe Biden to move the needle on gun control.
The most deadly include the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, which claimed 13 victims; in Virginia, when 32 people died after being gunned down on the campus of Virginia Tech by a student, who later died by suicide; and in Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which claimed 17 victims.
The 20-year-old Lanza, armed with a semiautomatic rifle, two semiautomatic pistols and multiple rounds of ammunition, fatally shot the children and adults at the school after murdering his mother at their home, then took his own life. Many people thought the killing of elementary school age children and their teachers in 2012 would be a turning point in the fight for gun control, but the attempt to ban assault weapons and require universal background checks for firearm sales failed to pass the Senate.
Since then, federal gun control laws have barely changed. The gun industry continues to produce assault weapons and high-capacity magazines without additional federal restrictions. From all accounts, gun makers are enjoying booming sales. Forbes reported in Apr 2021 that many Americans were buying pistols and shotguns for self-protection. Many others were buying AR-15s to get ahead of Biden, according to the magazine, believing he’ll make good on his threat to ban assault weapons.
Biden, a Democrat, has long expressed support for a ban on modern assault weapons. Despite holding a slim majority in both chambers, Democrats face an uphill battle in the fight to strengthen the nation’s gun restrictions and curb what Biden terms the nation's "international embarrassment" of gun violence.