After a shooting at a high school in the town of Santa Clarita in California, Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination have been weighing in on the conversation of gun control in America. Frontrunner Joe Biden said at a rally in Los Angeles that he was set on passing major legislation to reform gun laws in the United States. Elizabeth Warren, considered Biden’s main challenger, said on Twitter that Americans “shouldn’t have to live like this”. Candidate Bernie Sanders made an appeal for what he called “common sense gun legislation.”
While the number of school shootings fluctuates every year, adding up numbers by the Center of Homeland Defense and Security by decade still shows a clear upward trend. While in the 70s, 163 shootings were counted, that number had increased to more than 400 in the decade currently drawing to a close.
The assault weapons ban, which existed in the U.S. from 1994 to 2004 seems to have at least halted the increase in school shootings, showing the potential for new legislation. In the 10 years before the ban (1984-1993) approximately 250 shootings were recorded, the same as during the ban that lasted a decade between 1994 and 2004. In the 10 years after the ban lapsed, that increased to almost 330 shootings. Between 2014 and 2019, there have already been almost 350 shootings. 2018 was the worst year on record with 110 school shootings counted.