In the wake of another deadly mass shooting in America, that saw children as young as nine years old shot and killed, the gun control debate is going nowhere.

Already in the first quarter of 2023, 130 mass shootings have outpaced the 113 similar shootings in the first quarter of 2022. There have been more mass shootings than days so far; nearly two mass shootings for every day this year.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, firearms are now the leading cause of death of young children and mass shootings. Academic institutions, places of worship, and grocery stores have become killing fields in America. U.S. President Joe Biden’s continued calls for Congress to act are wistful words blowing in the wind. No meaningful action is on the horizon.

The cycle of violence is on an endless loop, replayed in unsuspecting communities every few days. Yet, the only thing that changes is the growing intensity and randomness of the brutality inflicted on the innocent.


According to the Gun Violence Archive, mass shootings are defined as incidents in which four or more victims are shot and killed. Just after The Covenant School shooting in Nashville, Tenn. on Monday, that saw seven people killed including the shooter, President Biden renewed his call on Congress to pass his assault weapons ban. “We have to do more to stop gun violence; it’s ripping our communities apart -- ripping the soul of this nation.” Biden said. The President wants reinstatement of the assault weapons ban he helped pass in 1994, which lapsed in 2004.

However, in the immediate aftermath of this latest horrific shooting, some lawmakers focused their efforts on the gender of the assailant, who was transgender,rather than engage in concerted efforts to confront the rising death toll. Unfortunately, President Biden, gun activists and others are rendered powerless as blood spills in the streets and weapons of war are used to cut down innocent men, women, and children.

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives believe more, not fewer, guns are the answer to solving the crisis. Already the United States has more guns than people in a nation of nearly 330 million. A survey conducted by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in 2018 estimated there are 393 million firearms in the United States.

Guns have outpaced people and shootings continue unabated; rendering the “more guns” argument meritless. However, amid these grim statistics, advocates still push to ease restrictions to gun ownership and open carry laws.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential front-runner for the Republican nomination for President, supports permitless and open-carry firearm laws. The Florida legislature is currently working to pass legislation to make Florida an open-carry state. Tennessee, home to the latest mass shooting, became a permitless carry state in 2021. Even more troublesome, more than 30 states allow the open carrying of a handgun without any licence or permit.

Less than a year ago, President Biden signed into law the first major gun safety legislation passed by Congress in nearly 30 years. The new law includes incentives for states to pass “red flag” laws that allow groups to petition courts to remove weapons from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

The law also extends background checks on people between the ages of 18 and 21 seeking to buy a gun. Additionally, the law expands existing laws preventing those convicted of domestic abuse from owning a gun. Successful passage of major gun legislation has been a highlight of the Biden Administration’s many accomplishments. However, the legislation has done very little to curb the gun violence that perennially plagues the nation.

A University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 54 per cent of Black Americans and 27 per cent of Hispanic Americans reported that they or a close friend or family member experienced gun violence. Overall, 21 per cent of U.S. adults reported being threatened by a gun or being a victim of a shooting.


The race for the White House has begun in earnest. Candidates are already traversing the country stomping for support in key battleground states. In the past, a tough-on-crime mantra was always seen as a certain pathway to success.

Over time, however, the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) endorsement became a sought-after badge of honor for GOP pols. As the NRA abandoned a bi-partisan approach to lobbying, it successfully co-opted the right and the Republican Party has been doing the powerful gun lobby’s bidding ever since.

In fact, according to Open Secrets, the NRA's pro-Trump spending in 2016 surged past US$100 million, surpassing any previous spending totals on record. The gun lobby’s overall spending exploded to more than $419 million, up from $312 million the previous year.

The massive spending by the powerful NRA has proved not only effective in ending the gun control debate but the gun lobby’s influence has essentially silenced one of the two major political parties as the bloodshed rises.

Republican lawmakers continue to reap massive campaign donations from the NRA. GOP Senators from North Carolina and Florida took in a combined $13 million from the gun lobby even as gun deaths in their states exceeded 1,400 and 2,400 respectively.

It was said that Sandy Hook marked the end of the U.S. gun control debate. "Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over." That school shooting left 20 children dead. It is one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

In a video posted on social media after The Covenant School shooting on Monday, Brett Cross, the father of one of the victims in the Uvalde school shooting that saw 19 children killed asked: “Have y’all had enough yet?” Apparently not…