Change the gun debate,
end THE GUN VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC.

 

Enough is Enough. We Need a Paradigm Shift.

End this Epidemic at its Source.

A Full-On Crisis

Gun violence is among America’s most deadly and costly public health crises. It has exploded across the US in recent years—from mass shootings at concerts and supermarkets to school fights settled with a bullet. Most events draw little attention—while the injuries and toll pile up. (KFF Health News 3.6.24)

We now have a US Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Declaring “a full-on emergency,” Cal. Attorney General Rob Bonta said “to fight this epidemic, it’s going to take creative approaches and new action,” creating its own office. A Washington Post 9/11 editorial, “Residents are scared,” urged leaders to “cut the rhetoric and take a rigorous look at what is—and is not—working.”

“My response is, we have to stop it, so your children, your family, your friends can leave your home, walk the streets, go to the grocery store, and go to church to be safe from gun violence. There’s no excuse for this carnage.” (Pres. Joe Biden 1.12.24)
  • The crisis is growing ever more alarming and out of control.
    • Most Americans (62% vs. 31%) expect it to get worse over the next five years. (“Gun Violence Viewed as Major National Problem,” Pew 6.28.23)
    • “You step outside the U.S., and people think what is happening here is insane.” (Jon Lowy, Global Action on Gun Violence, New Yorker 1.31.24)
    • Before Labor Day 2022—and its 18 mass shootings per Mass Shooting Tracker—Ellen Alberding of the Joyce Foundation cited the “unrelenting gun violence [and] Supreme Court decisions that steered our country off-course,” calling the latest, NYSRPA v. Bruen, a “far-reaching setback.”
    • “Gun deaths have skyrocketed in recent years, a devastating trend that shows no sign of slowing.” (Robyn Thomas, Giffords Law Ctr. 1.27.22)
    • School shootings hit all-time highs a second year in a row, “a distressing portrayal of the dangers facing our kids today” says Sarah Sharps, Everytown for Gun Safety (USA TODAY 9.14.23). “More active shooter drills. Safe rooms. Bulletproof backpacks. The classroom is changing.” (CNN 9.22.23)
    • Brady’s Kris Brown in “One Nation, Packing Heat” (Bus. Wk 7.26.21) warns of “a dystopian universe where the only rational thing is to have a gun.”
    • California Gov. Gavin Newsom asked: “What the hell is going on in the United States?”
    • MomsDemand’s Shannon Watts tweeted: “So many shootings it’s hard to keep track.” Refusing to give up she asked: “WHAT IS THE OTHER OPTION?”

Addressing symptoms and not the disease is not working. Marginal reforms like the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, as Fareed Zakaria said in a follow-up CNN special, “Lessons on Guns,” are “umbrellas in a hurricane” that make “no perceptible difference.”

D.C. v. Heller (2008) turned a gun problem into a Gun Epidemic.

The numbers speak for themselves.

The Real Problem and its Source

Almost no one asks what changed to cause gun violence to explode in recent years. Since 2014, “excluding accidents and suicides, over 300,000 Americans have been shot, and nearly half have died. Millions more suffered trauma, as witnesses to shootings or as friends and family of victims. By every measure, the physical, financial and emotional toll of gun violence in our society is staggering.” (A. Papachristos, Dir., Inst. for Policy Research, Wash. Post 11.24.23). Including accidents and suicides, the toll more than doubles. Yet no one researches what changed.

To understand the real problem with guns in the USA just google ‘Argument turns deadly.’That tweet by A. Wiles replied to MomsDemand’s Watts, in disbelief that an Ore. father of 3 was shot dead when his wiper fluid hit another car. On July 4th, she tweeted a D.C. father of 2 was killed over grass clippings blown on another car.                                                                                         Most shootings are by law-abiding citizens. In August, a Cal. judge arguing drunk texted: “I just lost it. I shot my wife.” In September, an Okl. judge shot at 6 cars in road rage. In February, a Pa. judge shot her boyfriend. In April, a Nev. lawyer shot another dead at deposition.                                                                                       They occur anywhere. An argument left 22 shot, 1 dead at Kansas City’s Super Bowl victory paradeprotected by 800 police. Disputes similarly left 10 shot after Denver’s NBA title win, 2 more at its parade.

“Anyone interested in gun policy should set a google alert for ‘shooting parking lot’. These are not gang shootings. Every day regular people get shot by armed civilians during disputes at malls, grocery stores, and shopping centers.” (K-12 School Shooting Database, 1.30.24)
“Nobody settles anything with fists anymore.” (bartender after mass shooting left 3 dead, 3 injured, Columbus Dispatch 5.18.24)
“Tragedies often begin with an argument. Instead of words or a punch, a gun is pulled.” (Wash. Post editorial, 3.25.22)
“Now we’re seeing what’s always been part of human conflict coupled with the accessibility of firearms,” with “individuals of all ages using guns to resolve their disagreements.” “Arguments that should be resolved through words” “end up where someone’s dead.” (Milwaukee police chief, 05.22)
  • The real problem is mixing guns with human conflict.

    This is a sampling of the types of ordinary disputes that end in shootings in America—often daily (hourly in cases of general confrontations, domestic violence, road rage):

    Confrontations

    • Texas man, told his shooting made a neighbor’s baby cry, came over with his AR-15, killing 3 women, a man and boy (“A gun transforms another everyday interaction into carnage,” Eugene Robinson, Wash. Post. 5.2.23)
    • motorcycle club dispute leaves 2 dead, 4 wounded (Wash. Post 5.16.23)
    • Fla. 78yo man shoots threatening neighbor dead in tree-trimming dispute (Wash. Post 9.20.23)
    • multiple people pull guns during fight in Borger, TX, leaving 1 dead, 3 wounded (Wash. Post 10.23.23)
    • Mich. man shot for spitting in sink (“unfathomable to take a human life for something so absurdly trivial,” Oakland Sheriff, Detroit News 2.22.24)
    • during argument, holder of a concealed carry license shoots man in Chicago Loop (3.14.24)
    • argument between two women led to gunfight that left 11 wounded in busy tourist area of Savannah, GA (5.18.24)
    • argument between passengers leads to one taking gun from other, shooting him, and hijacking the bus (Atlanta, GA 6.11.24)
    • 67yo ice cream vendor shot following argument over price of a dollar ice cream (abc7chicago.com 6.15.24)

    Confrontations – Mistakes

    • 84yo white homeowner in Kansas City shot 16yo black youth who rang his doorbell by mistake (4.13.23)
    • Upstate NY homeowner shot woman who accidentally turned up the wrong driveway (4.15.23)
    • Austin man shot two girls getting into the wrong car after cheerleading practice (4.18.23)
    • teen returning BB gun to sporting goods store fatally shot by a vigilante off-duty guard who mistook it for a Glock (Renton, WA 6.8.24)

    Domestic violence

    • San Diego man, distraught by breakup, makes ex-girlfriend listen over phone as he kills 1, wounds 6 at his apartment pool (Wash. Post 5.2.17)
    • Pa. man sentenced for fatally shooting in a “fit of rage” his dad who “never paid attention to him” (2.8.24)
    • man shoots and kills 56yo mother at home, fatally shoots himself (Pacific, MO 5.14.24)
    • woman pulls gun to “scare” sister’s boyfriend, accidentally shoots her own 15yo son in head (Portland, OR 5.17.24)
    • father shoots son during domestic dispute (Diamond Bar, CA 5.18.24)
    • man shoots and kills brother after argument (Mexico, MO 5.19.24)
    • Memphis woman gets into drunken fight with husband, he hands her gun and says “shoot me,” she kills him in front of 3 kids (5.21.24)
    • argument between brothers at home ends in deadly shooting (Farmington Hills, MI 5.22.24)
    • husband protects wife while she’s arguing with stepson, unintentionally shoots both (Stratford, CT 5.22.24)
    • police officer and his wife both shot during domestic quarrel at home (Drew, MS 5.23.24)
    • 39yo man shoots fiancée multiple times at home (Columbia, SC 5.24.24)
    • son shoots mother in head and kills her dog (Laurinburg, NC 5.25.24)
    • mother finds 15yo daughter in bed with boyfriend who shoots when kicked out, mother’s boyfriend shoots another daughter and teen by mistake (Cordova, TN 5.25.24)
    • husband shoots and kills wife on her 60th birthday (Milwaukee, WI 5.25.24)
    • man fatally shoots father and uncle (Eubank, KY 5.25.24)
    • man fatally shoots father after history of animosity and dropped cross-petitions for protective order (Sante Fe, NM 5.25.24)
    • man shot by police after following estranged wife onto freeway (San Bernardino, CA 5.26.24)
    • man kills woman at home, fires at police as children hide upstairs (Houston, TX 5.26.24)
    • man shoots woman’s new boyfriend in chest during domestic-related incident (Memphis, TN 5.26.24)
    • 34yo man shoots and kills 29yo woman at home (Eaton Twp., OH 5.26.24)
    • couple dead in murder-suicide shooting (Brooklyn, NY 5.27.24)
    • 61yo man kills another person in domestic-related shooting (Atmore, AL 5.27.24)
    • man fatally shoots another man during domestic dispute (Belleville, IL 5.27.24)
    • man shoots, wounds ex-girlfriend in domestic altercation, then nonfatally shoots himself (Pine Manor, FL 5.28.24)
    • two men pull guns on each other during domestic dispute, one is killed (Lancaster, TX 5.28.24)
    • man with anger management issues shoots stepfather in the head (Eutawville, SC 5.28.24)
    • woman sprays boyfriend with mace during domestic dispute, he pulls out a gun and shoots her (Baton Rouge, LA 5.28.24)
    • woman in line to use Chase ATM, ex-boyfriend pulls up to her minivan, shoots and kills her and 3yo son in car seat (West Kendall, FL 6.8.24)

    Financial institutions

    • Louisville bank employee kills 5, wounds 8 at Old National Bank branch (4.10.23)
    • woman in line to use Chase ATM, ex-boyfriend pulls up to her minivan, shoots and kills her and 3yo son in car seat (West Kendall, FL 6.8.24)

    Graduations

    • shooting at high school graduation party injures 4 (Beaufort Cty, SC 6.7.24)
    • shooting at high school graduation party leaves 1 dead, 1 wounded (Houston, TX 6.8.24)
    • shooting at high school graduation party injures 2 (Petersburg, VA 6.9.24)
    • “Chaos unfolds” during Albuquerque high school graduation as 21yo shoots his step-mother (KOAT7 6.14.24)

    Hotels and apartments

    • argument escalates into shots fired at Hyatt Regency Phoenix, leaving 1 dead, 7 wounded (Wash. Post 5.10.21)
    • 78yo landlord argues with tenants over unpaid rent, kills two women and wounds man in Las Vegas (Wash. Post 8.11.21)

    Intoxication

    • groom in drunken argument with wedding guest, gets gun from car, in struggle shoots innocent bystander (Salem, IN 5.18.24)
    • Memphis woman gets into drunken fight with husband, he hands her gun and says “shoot me,” she kills him in front of 3 kids (5.21.24)

    Legal profession

    • NJ man, angry with federal judge, shoots and kills her son who answered the door and critically wounds her husband (7.19.20)
    • Cal. judge, arguing drunk, texted: “I just lost it. I shot my wife. I won’t be in tomorrow. I will be in custody” (8.3.23)
    • Okla. judge shot at 6 cars in road rage, and rammed a woman who cut him off (9.11.23)
    • man upset at losing custody of his children shoots and kills Md. judge at home (10.21.23)
    • Cal. man, upset by Uvalde and a possible vote to ease gun restrictions, is arrested with a Glock outside Justice Kavanaugh’s home and charged with attempted murder (6.8.22)
    • Pa. judge shot her ex-boyfriend who tried to end their relationship (2.10.24)
    • Nev. lawyer shot opposing counsel and his wife dead at deposition over custody dispute (4.8.24)

    Medical facilities

    • man shoots doctor and 3 others dead for ongoing pain after surgery at Tulsa hospital, killing himself (Wash. Post 6.3.22)
    • Atlanta man opens fire with handgun in Northside Medical Midtown (5.3.23)

    Neighbors

    • man fatally shoots neighbor in argument over his unleashed dog (Lincoln, NE 1.21.23)
    • Texas man, told his shooting made a neighbor’s baby cry, came over with his AR-15, killing 3 women, a man and boy (“A gun transforms another everyday interaction into carnage,” Eugene Robinson, Wash. Post. 5.2.23)
    • woman complaining of kids trespassing on her property shoots mother through closed door, claiming self-defense (Ocala, FL 6.2.23)
    • Fla. 78yo man shoots threatening neighbor dead in tree-trimming dispute (Wash. Post 9.20.23)
    • man gets into altercation with neighbor, fatally shoots him, then turns hand gun on himself (Killeen, TX 5.15.24)
    • man shoots neighbor after parking dispute: ‘I would have kept shooting, but my gun jammed’ (Pompano Beach, FL 5.26.24)

    Parking lots – “School parking lots are the most common place for a shooting on campus” (X@K12ssdb 5.28.24)

    • 5 shot over a Detroit parking spot, the same day a woman shot an Ann Arbor woman in another lot (CBS, FOX 5, 3.29.24)
    • Wis. man shoots relative in dispute over parking spot (WMTV15News.com 5.13.24)
    • man gets in dispute over a parking spot, “stands his ground” and fatally shoots other driver (High Springs, FL 5.25.24)
    • man shoots neighbor after parking dispute: ‘I would have kept shooting, but my gun jammed’ (Pompano Beach, FL 5.26.24)
    • early morning dispute in crowded parking lot led to 38yo man being shot and killed (Indianapolis 5.26.24)
    • 9yo boy shot after parking lot dispute (Lauderhill, FL 5.27.24)
    • man dies after argument in business parking lot leads to gunfire (Jacksonville, FL 5.27.24)
    • man shot, hospitalized after gun fight in parking lot (Durham, NC 5.27.24)
    • four shot after argument in parking lot (Charlotte, NC 6.8.24)

    Parties – “are no longer safe now that ‘everyone’ has a gun and is allowed to carry it ‘everywhere'” (X@fincaelsordo)

    • shooting at Juneteenth celebration in parking lot leaves 23 hurt (Willowbrook, IL 6.18.23)
    • shooting at birthday pool party leave 1 dead, 4 wounded (Compton, CA 6.7.24)
    • shooting at high school graduation party injures 4 (Beaufort Cty, SC 6.7.24)
    • shooting at high school graduation party leaves 1 dead, 1 wounded (Houston, TX 6.8.24)
    • shooting at high school graduation party injures 2 (Petersburg, VA 6.9.24)
    • 9 shot at apartment roof party (Madison, WI 6.9.24)

    Public places

    • Times Square is “O.K. Corral” after argument breaks out and guns are pulled, shooting 3 bystanders waiting in line (Wash. Post 5.10.21)
    • sidewalk fight in entertainment district leaves 4 wounded (Dallas, TX 6.9.24)

    Public transit

    • altercations leading to back-to-back shootings on D.C. Metro leave 1 dead, 4 hurt (Wash. Post 12.9.22)
    • dispute between two groups on NYC subway platform leaves 1 dead, five injured, including bystanders (WSJ 2.13.24)

    Restaurants & Fast Food

    • spilled drink leaves 5 shot, including 2 dead at a Norfolk restaurant (3.19.22)
    • dispute leaves 5 shot plus 2 dead at a Louisville restaurant (8.27.23)
    • couple upset over a delayed WhataBurger order shot a Houston employee (KTRK 3.2.24)
    • man wounds girlfriend and kills her friend during argument outside restaurant (Uniontown, PA 5.13.24)

    Road rage – nearly hourly per @DefensiveGun (“Man arms himself to drive, becomes enraged to…”)

    • Denver man, after road altercation, follows woman to parking lot, gets into argument, critically wounds her and one son, kills another son (USA Today 6.17.18)
    • NC man on I-95, upset by lane merge by Pa. couple heading to beach for anniversary, shot into passenger door, killing wife (NYT 3.28.21)
    • Aide to VA gubernatorial candidate (aka “Annie Oakley” for wearing .38 on hip) pulls AR-15 pistol in road rage while driving campaign van (Wash. Post 5.1.21)
    • LA-area man cuts off mom who gestures at him, shoots dead son being driven to kindergarten (Wash. Post 6.8.21)
    • LA man in road rage incident fires bullet into pickup truck of actress Denise Richards and husband (People 11.15.22)
    • Md. man cuts off boxer Danny Kelly Jr. on Christmas Eve 2021, kills him after verbal exchange in front of wife and 3 children (Wash. Post 7.21.23)
    • Okla. judge shot at 6 cars in road rage, and rammed a woman who cut him off (9.11.23)
    • motorist shot a San Antonio landscaper for blowing leaves onto his car (ksat.com 2.29.24)
    • man gets into accident with another driver, then shoots him (Columbia, KY 5.11.24)
    • motorist shoots woman who unintentionally cut him off (University City, MO 5.15.24)
    • man pulls gun to move traffic backed up at high school graduation (Boiling Springs, SC 5.18.24)
    • Indy man becomes enraged at another driver, shoots him in neck at red light (5.19.24)
    • man, angry over another “spinning his tires near him” in a parking lot, sprays gunfire killing bystander (District Heights, MD 5.19.24)
    • man runs stop sign and almost hits couple, becomes enraged when they yell at him and shoots woman (Eastpointe, MI 5.21.24)
    • Houston motorist becomes enraged at another driver, shoots and kills 16yo passenger (5.22.24)
    • man becomes enraged, shoots and kills other driver in high school parking lot (Anthony, NM 5.24.24)
    • man gets into altercation with another car, gets hit in the face by one, shoots and kills the other (Myrtle Beach, FL 5.25.24)
    • man in minor accident, shoots 18yo driver who tries to exchange info, and is left paralyzed on way home from prom (Houston, TX 5.26.24)
    • Fla. man becomes enraged at another driver, chase and then shoots her in front of child (Pomona Park, Fla. 5.28.24)
    • Motorist becomes enraged at another driver on the Pa. Turnpike, shoots him in the head (Narvon, Pa. 5.31.24)
    • man gets into minor accident with another driver, chases and critically shoots him (Mesquite, TX 6.1.24)
    • 3 people shot, 2 critically wounded after car accident turns into shooting (St. Louis, Mo. 6.2.24)
    • man shoots woman who “flipped each other off” in bridge road-rage incident (Charleston, SC 6.8.24)

    Schools – Disputes that escalate into a shooting are the most common situation when a gun is fired at a k-12 school” (X@K12ssdb)

    • shots fired during fight at high school graduation, in Des Moines (5.18.24), part of a dramatic increase in shootings over disputes at school graduations (@K12ssdb)
    • fight between attendees escalates into shots fired near KC charter school graduation (5.18.24)
    • man shot and killed outside Florida middle school by his ex-partner’s fiancé during a custody dispute (Citra, FL 5.22.24)

    Shopping

    • man at Walmart sees teens in car shoot other teens with “gel blaster” toy guns, chases and fires, critically wounds one (Wichita, KS 5.11.24)
    • Family Dollar greeter shoots customer in ankle in argument over having to present receipt at exit (Cleveland, OH 5.18.24)

    Sports events

    • 22 shot, 1 dead after argument at Kansas City’s Super Bowl parade, despite presence of 800 police (2.14.24)
    • 10 shot in dispute after Denver’s NBA title win, 2 more at its parade (6.12-15.24)
    • 20 shot in fights after a Milwaukee’s NBA playoff game (5.13.22)

    Workplace

    • employee fatally shoots 2 co-workers and seriously wounds 3 following argument (Chester, PA 5.22.24)

What changed was the Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. Heller (2008), a “dramatic upheaval in the law” (Stevens, J., dissenting), that guaranteed law-abiding citizens a right to a gun in the home for self-defense. Striking D.C.’s ban on handguns—used in most shootings—Heller boosted gun sales, unleashed deregulation, and shackled gun control. After McDonald v. Chicago extended Heller nationwide in 2010, tossing bans in Chicago and other cities, gun proliferation and deaths increased, then accelerated, creating an unmistakable inflection across nearly every metric (see graphs above and Problem Turns Epidemic).

This epidemic cannot be explained by mental health, poverty, inequality, youth, Covid-19, or crime. While factors, all were present before Heller, and all are found in other nations with a fraction of our gun violence. None account for the surge in gun deaths and injuries after Heller (2008) as expanded in McDonald (2010). Or spike in school shootings, flat for decades, whose sudden rise post-2008/2010 could not be more graphic (as depicted to the right). Rather, most gun violence is tied not to mental illness but anger issues, 9% or 22 million U.S. adults have both a history of impulsive anger and access to a gun, and 1.5% or 4 million adults with impulsive anger issues carry a gun (Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 4.8.15). Naturally impulsive teens with access to guns make the problem worse.

What does explain the surge—and epidemic—is Heller, guaranteeing all “law-abiding citizens” a gun.

An historian Heller relied on, Joyce Malcolm, called such a right a “dangerous freedom.” An 1832 treatise it cited noted pistols often “turn a quarrel into a bloody affray.” Justice Breyer also warned, citing the American Journal of Psychiatry: ‘Most murders are committed by law-abiding citizens, in spontaneous violence generated by anger, passion or intoxication.’” An 1882 decision similarly noted the “danger to the whole community” of pistols “ready to be used on every outbreak of ungovernable passion.” Granting law-abiding citizens a right to a gun, Heller turned those unable to control human impulses while armed into “criminals,” and American homes and communities into “killing fields.”

“Many like to point out that most gun owners are law-abiding citizens. The problem is that any society as gun-saturated as ours isn’t going to see senseless violence just from criminals. It’s going to see senseless violence from people who were law-abiding citizens, until they used a gun to kill or maim someone.” (Jill Filipovic, CNN 4.19.23)
Empowering impulsive human beings with a constitutional right to guns is little different than giving them a constitutional right to drive drunkjust as deadly and unregulatable.

Heller’s Consequences

Heller’s impact is impossible to ignore, with American society unable to protect itself. Due to a court decision, we now face a devastating public health and safety crisis of escalating guns, deaths, injuries, and fear, and other destabilizing, costly effects.

Justice StevensJustice Stevens, deploring the “slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns,” disclosed all justices could forsee the “negative consequences” of Heller’s “radical change in the law,” and urged “overruling Heller is desperately needed.”
  • Record high guns, deaths, shootings

    • Record levels of civilian firearms, now exceeding 465 million (X@NewtownAction 6.16.24)
    • “16 million people – 1 in 20 adults – own at least one AR-style rifle” (Wash. Post 12.28.23)
    • Ghost gun proliferation: from 2016 to 2021, over 45,200 suspected self-made guns were recovered from crime scenes (Wash. Post 6.6.24)
    • “Gun Industry Targets Kids Using TikTok, Instagram, and Video Games” (Mother Jones 10.24.23)
    • Records gun deaths, 25,198 by July 2023, set to pass 2021 all-time high of 45,080 (Gun Violence Archive)
    • Americans are 26 times more likely to be shot & killed than people in other high-income countries (BradyUnited.org)
    • “2 in 10 Americans report experience or connection to gun violence: poll” (PBS New Hour 9.1.22)
    • Record mass shootings, 500+ killed by August 2023, the most in at least 10 years (Forbes 8.29.23
    • “In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable. It was over.” (Daily Mail’s Dan Hodges 6.19.15). A dozen years and more than 5,000 mass shootings later, little has changed.
    • 131 mass shootings (4+ shot not incl. shooter) by July 2023 versus 113 last year (Gun Violence Archive)
    • Record high 818 mass shootings (4+ shot incl. shooter) in 2021—over 2 a day (Mass Shooting Tracker)
    • Most mass shootings involve guns obtained legally, and are motivated by grievances, not mental illness (FBI, 6.2018)
    • Record mass killings (4+ killed)—on average every 6.5 days (WSJ 4.23.23)
    • Record school shootings, new high again, “doubling in past year” (The Hill 9.14.23)
    • “Number of guns found in schools is soaring” (Wash. Post 10.16.23)
    • Soaring impulsive, angry, grievance, intoxicated shootings
    • Record domestic shootings of all ages, gender, race: partners, parents, grandparents, kids shooting each other
    • “More than 700 women are shot to death by intimate partners each year” (Giffords.org)
    • Every month, 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner (Everytown.org)
    • 46% of mass killings of 4 or more in 2015-22 were of intimate partners or family (Everytownresearch.org)
    • In over 66% of mass shootings, the perpetrator either killed at least one partner or family member or had a history a history of domestic violence
    • More than half of all women who die by homicide are killed by a current or former male intimate partner.
    • A 2016 study found that, of women alive, 1 million had been shot or shot at by an intimate partner, and 4.5 million had been threatened with a gun.
    • When an abuser has a gun, they are five times more likely to kill a partner
    • Dozens of women are killed with a gun by an intimate partner each month
    • “Every day in America 41 children lose a parent to shootings” Wash. Post 4.21.22
    • “People living in homes with firearms have higher risks for dying by homicide” (Annals of Internal Medicine 2022)
    • “Leading cause of death for children,” passing car crashes in 2017 NE J. Med. 4.20.22
    • “Child Gun Deaths Spiked 87% in 10 Years” (Forbes 10.13.23)
    • 8 children a day are killed or injured unintentionally by unsecured guns in the home (BradyUnited.org)
    • 2023 was the worst year on record for unintentional shootings of kids and teens (Everytownresearch.org)
    • “Each year 19,000 kids & teens are killed or injured, 3M exposed to gun violence” (Everytownresearch.org)
    • Record accidental, negligent shootings, “an average of 3.75 per day” (@GunDeaths 4.23.24)
    • Record suicides from gun access, 90% of attempts result in death vs. 4% of all others (Everytownresearch.org)
    • Access to a gun triples risk of death by suicide (Everytownresearch.org)
    • Suicides among children aged 10 to 14 tripled 2007-2020 WSJ June 5, 2022
    • “One quarter of all gun suicide victims had been drinking” (Johns Hopkins Ctr. for Gun Violence 1.30.24)
    • Rocketing shootings driven by “petty fights” and gun access (Wash. Post 1.1.22)
    • Record road rage shootings “surged more than 400%” between 2014 and 2023 (Trace 2.25.24)
    • Road rage shootings occur every 16 hrs (Everytown 3.20.23), doubling 2014-16, again 2017-21 (Trace 5.2.22)—even in response to flashed headlights (by domestic abuser now before Supreme Court in U.S. v. Rahimi)
    • Record armed carjackings, “rose for the sixth straight year in 2023” (Wash. Post 1.27.24)
    • “Alarming rise in carjackings” gives DoorDash, UberEats, Grubhub drivers trauma, anxiety (Wash. Post. 1.23.24)
    • Record fast-food shootings over botched orders or declined credit card (also in US v. Rahimi)
    • Record FBI background checks of 39 million firearms in 2020-2022
    • TSA gun seizures “soaring 6 times since 2008,” 93% found loaded Wash. Post 3.19.22, 10.12.23
  • A public living in fear

    • Devastated families and communities across the country
    • Domestic partners routinely threatened, stalked, injured, and killed despite protective orders
    • A firearm is a tool of control,” “used to threaten, harass, intimidate—victims know it would take a second to make something happen” (Ruth Glenn, president of Survivor Justice Action, Mother Jones 11.9.23)
    • Nationwide student “Marches for Our Lives” since Parkland 2018
    • Student active shooter drills at all levels, including kindergarten
    • Like others, “Iowa school shooting leaves 1 dead and community in fear” (Wash. Post 1.5.24)
    • “Imagine the stress, trauma and anxiety that a second active shooter lockdown in 16 days caused our students, faculty and staff.” (UNC chancellor, Wash. Post 9.13.23)
    • “Gun-wary schools are mandating clear backpacks” (Wash. Post 8.27.23)
    • “One third of K-12 parents are very worried a shooting could happen at their child’s school” (Pew 10.18.22)
    • Parents don’t “feel comfortable” letting children go to high school football games (Wash. Post 10.21.23)
    • Children routinely shot by guns flooding homes, playgrounds, school buses, athletic fields, streets
    • Arming teachers, “expecting teachers to see being shot as part of the job” (Wash. Post 4.30.23)
    • Schools, churches, businesses hardened, screened, armed
    • Oxford, Mich.’s high school, where 4 students were killed, was fortified with 100 cameras and doors with bolts into the floor (Wash. Post 4/10/24)
    • “School Shootings Are Changing the Design of American Classrooms” (WSJ 6.7.24)
    • School lock-downs after real and imagined threats
    • schools routinely are vacated over “hoax” calls about a gun
    • college locks down after AI technology mistakes theater prop guns for real firearms (Pittsford, NY 6.18.24)
    • Colleges wall off campuses, add security and guard booths (Wash. Post 10.12.23)
    • Medical facilities rattled by “violence uptick,” add campus police (WSJ 5.8.23)
    • Government offices add drills, text alerts, responder blueprints (Wash. Post 10.5.23)
    • “Voting offices, fearing worst” get ready with tourniquets, live shooter drills (Wash. Post 2.11.24)
    • Public spaces, neighborhoods, stores, restaurants, workplaces increasingly dangerous
    • In some neighborhoods, “‘everyone has a gun. Every weekend you hear gunshots. People shoot in their backyards, after they drink alcohol, men take out guns at house parties and shoot the ground'” (Wash. Post 4.30.23). “When the sun begins to set and liquor bottles begin to empty, ‘it sounds like a war zone—it’s that intense. You hear boom boom boom every night.'” (“Gunfire ubiquitous in Texas town,” Wash. Post 5.8.23)
    • With permitless carry, “‘It’s like walking on eggshells every day.'” (“Gunfire ubiquitous in Texas town,” Wash. Post 5.8.23)
    • Cities cancel public events: Akron, Ohio cancels Juneteenth weekend events following recent mass shooting (Cleveland19.com 6.14.24)
    • Restaurants shut down, citing safety concerns (Fox.Baltimore.com 6.17.24)
    • Public transit shootings “rising across the country” Wash. Post 4.17.22
    • Many riders “rarely take the subway nowadays. ‘I don’t want to be killed by some 15-year-old with a gun'” (Wash. Post 5.18.24)
    • Bystander and accidental shootings becoming routine
    • “Fear of increasing crime a factor in shooting of strangers” (Wash. Post 5.1.23)
    • In nation’s capital, 3 in 10 residents do not feel safe Wash. Post 2.27.22
    • “Fatal shootings surge in D.C, frightening residents” (Wash. Post 8.7.23)
    • Driving public fears is a pernicious mix of widespread gun ownership, misconceptions about stand-your-ground laws, marketing of guns for self-defense, and growing sense of deteriorating safety (M.L. Paul, Wash. Post 5.8.23)
  • Destabilizing, costly, embarrassing effects

    • Pseudo-militia doubled post-2008, threatening governments, officials, elections
    • “Far-right radicalism is the nation’s top domestic threat” per FBI (Wash. Post 8.26.23)
    • Rising armed resistance to police, traffic stops, 911 calls
    • “4 officers fatally shot, 4 injured while serving warrant in Charlotte” (Wash. Post 4.30.24)
    • “Surging political threats menace US democracy” through violent tactics and swatting (Wash. Post 2.9.24)
    • “a tidal wave of menacing behavior in recent years has rattled the offices of public servants” (CNN 12.7.23)
    • Attorney General Merrick Garland deplores “deeply disturbing spike” of threats against government workers and public servants (1.9.24)
    • “Threats of violence can taint politicians’ decision-making process, experts say (Wash. Post 1.10.24)
    • Increasing “toxic mix of partisanship and guns,” with angry citizens “standing face-to-face with weapons, often with police appearing to be little more than observers (Wash. Post 8.28.20)
    • Threats to judges quadrupled 2015-2021, sometimes deadly (U.S. Marshalls Service)
    • Chief Justice Robert’s Year-End Report addresses threats to judges’ safety (NYT 1.1.23)
    • Security measures are “night and day” compared to the 1990s. “It’s a huge adjustment for your family. You pray there’s not a long-term impact” (Kavanaugh, J., 5.10.24). In 2022, an armed man at the justice’s home, upset by the Uvalde school shooting, was charged with attempted murder.
    • “I believe people when they say they want to hurt or kill us.” (Wisc. Justice Karofsky, Wash. Post 2.9.24)
    • “Deeply disturbing spike” in threats against federal and state officials, including judges and legislators (AG Garland 1.5.24), and shooting at Colo. Sup. Ct (1.2.24)
    • Record hate shootings and threats over race, gender, faith, politics
    • Stand Your Ground rights “cannot be nullified by a jury or prosecutor” (Tex. Gov. Abbott, pardoning man who killed BLM protester, 5.16.24)
    • Bills allow teachers to carry firearms, as in Tennessee after 6 students were shot at Nashville school (Wash. Post 4.24.24)
    • Calls for police in elementary schools as well as middle and high schools (Wash. Post 5.7.24)
    • Parents now prosecuted for child’s misuse of guns (Wash. Post 2.9.24)
    • “Exacting a mental toll,” mass killings “leave Americans numb and fearful,” “many wondering: Am I next?” (Wash. Post 5.14.23)
    • “Across the country, more and more people are affected by multiple mass killings over the course of their lifetimes” (Wash. Post 4.3.23)
    • Record shooting injuries, requiring hospitalization, therapy, trauma care
    • “Shooting is a massive risk to hearing,” hearing loss from recreational guns is “epidemic” (Wash. Post 2.20.24)
    • Lax gun laws spark violent protests: “Perhaps this is the impact for change.” (Louisville mass shooter in killing 5, injuring 8, Wash. Post 1.23.24)
    • $557 billion in annual medical, insurance and government costs, or 2.6% of GDP (JAMA 2022)
    • Nation’s capital pays $1.5mm per fatal shooting, $1 billion in 2021  Wash. Post 4.22.22
    • “It takes more than 100 people to save a gunshot victim’s life” BuzzFeed 4.29.22
    • Demolished schools and other mass shooting sites
    • Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, after shooting of 26 first graders and teachers in 2012, was torn down and replaced
    • Robb Elementary in Uvalde, TX, where 21 students and teachers were killed and 17 injured in 2022, is closed for demolition
    • Parkland high school building where 17 students died is demolished (6.14.24)
    • “As longevity declines U.S. short on answers,” gun violence a “major factor” (Wash. Post 12.28.23, 1.14.24)
    • Wasteful litigation and legal confusion: 2,000+ cases applying Heller, not real 2nd Amendment
    • “Why America’s Gun Laws Are in Chaos” (WSJ 8.2.23)
    • Legislative and electoral gridlock over the most marginal reforms
    • Grim parodies: “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens” (The Onion 5.25.22)
    • Highway sign image: WELCOME TO UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: “O” DAYS SINCE A MASS SHOOTING (X@0DSLMS)
    • Graduation meme “When you graduate from high school in the USA” of students tossing Kevlar vests instead of mortarboards
    • “Thoughts & Prayers: The Game” (2024)
    • Foreign travel advisories issued for U.S. by other countries
    • Foreign media deplore America’s “shameful” gun violence (Great Britain), and “extensively cover U.S. mass shootings, police violence, polarization, and public security problems” (China, Wash. Post 5.28.24)
    • Foreign governments sue U.S. manufacturers and dealers for exporting gun violence (New Yorker 1.31.24)
    • “American guns and extremism fuel global violence” (Trace 9.21.23)
 

'GOOD GUY WITH A GUN' ISN'T WORKING

MARGINAL GUN SAFETY ISN'T 'WINNING'

WE NEED A NEW SOLUTION AND APPROACH

A Real Solution

Galvanizing reform initiatives are not “winning.” Avoiding Heller and defeatist hand-wringing have not worked. Guns keep surging and shootings pile up. Legislative, community, and research efforts focused on gun safety are important, but modest measures cannot reverse a growing crisis or cure the real problem: too many guns in the hands of impulsive human beings.

“A society saturated with guns is a society living in fear of itself.” (X@EschewObtuse)
“The display of a gun instills fear in the average citizen [and] creates an immediate danger a violent response will ensue.” (McLaughlin v. US, 476 U.S. 16 (1986)).

We need a direct response and paradigm change. Heller—creating a dystopia where all citizens are armed—must be understood, challenged, and undone. It is time to see Heller as the series of glaring errors, omissions, and guesswork it is—a house of cards that cannot stand, even in this Court.

We can no longer accept the decision that gave us a gun crisis. Americans deserve to grow up and be safe from the threat of guns and gun violence, like prior generations, not pay with their lives for constitutional guesswork.
Thoughts, prayers, and social media posts aren’t going to solve the problem: we need action.” (Parkland survivor Sari Kaufman).
 

“If they continue to pursue a pathway of inaction, more people are going to die.”
(Parkland survivor Jaclyn Corin)

Help us overturn these flawed and dangerous decisions, and re-empower legislatures to end this needless crisis.

 

The Necessary Action

Heller and its progeny are egregiously wrong and must be overturned

American Enlightenment Project is the one organization dedicated to undoing Heller and educating the country in the lost meaning of the 2nd Amendment. After years of persistent effort, AEP is the one that can explain it. To learn more, visit About AEP, Problem Turns Epidemic, 2nd Amendment Explained, and Heller’s 2nd Amendment.

Will you join us? We need your help to bring court challenges to undo Heller and its epidemic.

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