In the months following the Sandy Hook shootings, Americans were mostly in agreement regarding stricter gun laws. Despite the mass support for gun legislation reform enjoyed following the Sandy Hook tragedy, gun nuts won in 2013.
The Washington Post reported that about 1,500 state gun laws were introduced during this year following the shooting but, contrary to public opinion, most of the laws that passed loosened gun regulations. Congress passed 109 new gun laws this year with 70 of those news laws loosening gun restrictions.
Waning interest in gun control laws and skyrocketing donations from gun rights groups to lobbyists seem proven factors that have given success to loosening gun laws.
From 1989 through 2012, gun rights advocates raised a towering amount of money compared to groups advocating for improved gun control. Gun rights advocates raised over $29 million during that time when gun control advocates raised a mere $1.9 million. Just in the first three months of 2013, the National Rifle Association (NRA) spent $800,000 on lobbying efforts.
In 2012 alone, the NRA $2.9 million to gun rights causes.
However, in 2013, a large number of states passed frightening gun laws. This year, 22 states passed more liberal gun carrying laws and nine states passed laws that now allow school personnel to carry inside schools.
Around the time of the shooting, total funding for gun rights lobbying hovered hovered around $6 million, but afterwards, the contributions immediately shot well above the $8 million mark. And as with any lobbying effort, success lies with the dollar amounts.
After Sandy Hook, 57 percent of people wanted safer gun laws, but that number is now just 49 percent. However, some groups and organizers are relentless in their pursuit of stricter, safer gun laws. The political advocacy group, Organizing for Action (OFA), is attempting to rally more support for gun control legislation.
As the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings gets closer, OFA had planned events to raise awareness and support to push the nation to “prevent gun violence and keep our communities safe.”
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.