Gun Violence in the United States 7

On Mar 10 2009 a 28-year-old Alabama man set his mother's house on fire as it burned down around her, shot his aunt and uncle and grandparents, as well as two cousins and two others including the wife of a local deputy sheriff and her 18-month-old child before using his assault rifle responsible for the murders to take his own life. A total of ten people were killed in the spree killing. There were numerous injuries, including the Geneva Alabama Police Chief who was saved by the bulletproof vest he was wearing, and a state trooper who suffered injuries from flying glass after his cruiser was hit with several bullets. Investigators believe that the reason for the attack by Michael McLendon was an issue of grudges he held against family members and others. It was the worst mass shooting in Alabama's history.
On Apr 3, 2009, in Binghamton NY a 41-year old man of Asian descent walked into the American Civic Association immigration center after barricaded the rear door with his father's car. He then used two handguns, a 45-caliber Beretta and a 9-mm Beretta to shoot and kill 13 people before committing suicide. Four others were wounded in the attack. Jiverly Antares Wong aka Jiverly Voong a naturalized American citizen from Vietnam was previously a student taking English language classes there between January and March 2009 before he dropped out. The event was the worst mass killing in New York State since the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York City.

On Jan. 8, 2011 nineteen people were shot during a constituent meeting held in a supermarket parking lot in the Tucson metropolitan area. Six people were killed, including a nine-year-old girl, a federal District Court Chief Judge and a staffer for U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords who was holding the meeting, called "Congress on Your Corner" in the parking lot of the supermarket when Jared Lee Loughner who was fixated with Giffords drew a pistol and shot her in the head before proceeding to fire on other people in the crowd. He was arrested after being detained by bystanders and was found competent to stand trial by a federal Judge who later sentenced him to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years, without possibility of parole.

A heavily armed gunman went on a rampage in a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012 during a screening of the movie The Dark Knight Rises. He was dressed in in black, wearing a load-bearing vest, a bullet-resistant throat protector, a gas mask, a ballistic helmet, bullet-resistant leggings, a groin protector and tactical gloves. After setting off tear gas grenades, obscuring the audiences' vision, James Eagan Holmes randomly shot into the audience killing 12 people and injuring eighty-two others that were shot or otherwise wounded at the midnight showing of the film. Previously, Holmes told a fellow classmate that he wanted to kill people months before the shooting took place. When police arrived they found a shotgun, three .40-caliber handgun magazines, and a large drum magazine lying on the floor of the theater after Holmes was arrested minutes later outside the movie theater.

The Future of Gun Reform and Legislation
Taking into consideration many of these shootings, several states have taken action reforming gun laws on their own. But a major federal action hasn't been passed through Congress since the Clinton Administration. Approximately 1500 gun bills have been introduced by the states since the Sandy Hook shootings but only 109 of them have moved on to become law. And of the 109 laws that have passed, nearly two-thirds of them eased restrictions rather than tightening them and expanded the rights of gun vendors and owners as opposed to making weapons harder to acquire. There were some successes for those who support firmer laws and regulations but most of them were gained in states where the governorship and the legislature are controlled by the Democrats.

With the 2014 mid-term elections approaching and the 2016 presidential contest following two years later, the issue of gun safety and control is certain to rematerialize and play out as a blistering issue during the upcoming campaigns.

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