On a day when police in Orange County, California are investigating another deadly mass shooting, we learn America’s obsession with guns remains as powerful as ever. Nearly five million background checks were conducted for firearms purchases in March, the same month where shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado reignited the national conversation on gun control.
According to FBI statistics, the 4.7 million background checks outpaced February’s numbers by 36%. While background checks aren’t direct indicators of actual sales, gun purchases typically jump after mass shootings. That’s because the pro-gun community takes a hoarder’s mentality out of fear that shootings may spark legislation that could hamper their ability to purchase new weapons.
And it’s true that March also saw two gun-control bills passed by the US House of Representatives that incited the usual Second Amendment complaints from Republicans.
But as Shannon Watts, the founder of the grassroots gun control group Moms Demand points out, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Gun reform legislation has gone nowhere in America for decades.
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, for one, is tired of the same tragic routine that follows most mass shootings in America. He and GOP Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania are trying to get actual progress made by drumming up support for “universal background checks. Murphy said this past Sunday on Meet The Press that that measure stands the best chance of earning enough bipartisan support to pass the Senate.