Another Awful Milestone Reached:
Post-Newtown Gun Deaths in America Now Surpass All U.S. Service Member Deaths During Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Combined
What Number Will It Take for Senator Ayotte to Do Something About the Gun Violence Epidemic and Reconsider Her Vote Against Background Checks at Gun Shows?
- 6,745: U.S. Military Casualties During the Iraq War and Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan Combined
- 6,746: U.S. Gun Deaths Since Mass Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary
Washington D.C. – 6,746 people including 473 children and teens have been gunned down on American soil since the mass child shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary less than eight months ago, according to Slate. The post-Newtown death toll now surpasses combined U.S. military casualties during nearly nine years of war in Iraq and the ongoing and longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan. Americans United for Change called on Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) to reflect on the bitter milestone and reconsider her vote against requiring that every gun buyer at gun shows and over the internet first undergo a live-saving background check. 89 percent of people in New Hampshire support even stronger proposals mandating background checks for all gun buyers.
Jeremy Funk, Communications Director, Americans United for Change: ‘What is Sen. Ayotte’s number? How many more New Hampshire families have to be shattered by gun violence before she is willing to lift a finger to do something about it? Statistically, 32 people including 8 kids are gunned down every single day in America. There have been 43 mass shootings in 25 states over the past four years — or nearly one per month. That’s why it’s more depressing than surprising that it only took a matter of months for domestic gun deaths to add up to all U.S. servicemen and women lost during two long bloody wars. In another eight months, we’ll likely see another two war’s worth of coffins, big and small, unless our lawmakers start to do something about it.
“We hope this awful milestone is the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to Senator Ayotte’s inexcusable opposition to strengthening background checks,” added Funk. “Gun violence is clearly not on Ayotte’s radar screen, but perhaps she will take notice of the polls showing many in New Hampshire are incensed with her vote to keep the gun show loophole wide open for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to exploit. It’s not too late for the Senator to change course on the gun safety issue, and she will likely get a second chance to do the right thing in the coming months. When the time comes, we hope Ayotte votes to put our children and communities’ safety first -- not continue representing the big gun manufacturers that don’t give a damn who guns are sold to, no matter how dangerous they are, as long as a sale is made.”
FACT: Background Checks Save Lives and Expanding Them Will Save More
- Ø Senator Ayotte ought to consider the results under the current background system: “[S]ince 1998 the F.B.I. has rejected more than a million would-be sales, and when state-level rejections are factored in the number of denials is closer to two million — usually because the would-be buyers are convicted felons, or fugitives from justice, or mentally ill, among other reasons,” according to the New York Times.
- Ø That’s nearly 2 million guns that were kept out of the wrong hands, and lives were saved as a direct result. In fact: In states that require a background check for private handgun sales, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners; in states that require background checks for all handgun sales, there are 17% fewer firearm aggravated assaults. Given these facts, it is undeniable that closing the gun show/internet loophole and subjecting more of the millions of guns sold anonymously each year to background checks would keep more guns out of the hands of criminals and save more lives.
Previous from Americans United: ‘After sinking in approval, Ayotte says ‘I Voted to Improve Background Checks’. Actually, she voted to weaken them.’
Americans United for Change is a 501c4 issue-advocacy organization established in 2005 to beat back President Bush’s effort to privatize Social Security and has been working ever since to advance a progressive agenda in Congress including health care reform, reversing climate change, Wall Street reform, protecting Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security from benefit cuts, minimizing gun violence, and requiring millionaires and big corporations to pay their fair share in taxes.