As the two-year anniversary of the Newtown shooting that killed twenty children and six educators approaches, the gun violence prevention movement has seen many gains, writes Josh Sugarmann for The Huffington Post. Despite the National Rifle Association’s continued campaigning against laws that would help to curb gun violence, there are many reasons to keep hoping for change.
First, the firearms industry is in decline; “little more than a third of American households report the presence of a gun in the home, and this percentage has steadily fallen since 1970.”
Second, more states are adopting stronger gun violence prevention laws. “Each year,” Sugarmann writes, “our research finds that states with stronger gun violence prevention laws and low rates of gun ownership have the lowest gun death rates in the country.”
Third, the country is more and more committed to fighting domestic violence, to which gun violence is closely linked. “More than 90 percent of women murdered by men are killed by someone they know, and approximately two-thirds are killed by an intimate partner.”
Fourth, the NRA’s claim that guns are often used in self-defense has been repeatedly shown to be false; “new research from Stanford University finds that concealed carry laws lead to an increase in violent crime.”
Finally, both new and existing gun violence prevention groups are more active than ever, winning elections, educating the public, and building grassroots support.