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521 mass shootings in 477 days: charting the US gun obsession

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By Emma Beswick
521 mass shootings in 477 days: charting the US gun obsession

<p>The United States is one of the few countries where the right to bear arms is protected by the state constitution.</p> <p>The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”</p> <p>It comes as no surprise, then, that many adults in the US choose to carry a gun, but exactly how many are “packing” and what is the preferred firearm?</p> <p><script id="infogram_0__/LA0fVsAYR8ZiquaDDrBp" title="How many people own guns in the US?" src="https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?id6" type="text/javascript"></script></p> <p>Mass shootings such as those in Charleston, Orlando and Las Vegas mean that US-gun law is <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2016/01/05/gun-control-america-s-tragic-labour-pains">questioned</a> time and time again, <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Preventing-Suicide_-Gun-Shop-Project_Philadelphia1-427475513.html">the same arguments</a> for and against civilians carrying guns being rehashed.</p> <p>With 30% of adults carrying a firearm, what are the perceived repercussions of such a high percentage of the population carrying a lethal weapon?</p> <p><script id="infogram_0__/sWZM35jv4HHu8Y1nP6yZ" title="How many mass shootings occur every day in the US?" src="https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?mur" type="text/javascript"></script></p> <p>Such a high number of armed individuals may seem strange to Europeans, but it is important to remember that <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/02/guns-in-america-after-charleston-why-it-s-becoming-like-a-western-movie">America is a historically and culturally different environment to Europe</a> when it comes to the use of firearms by private individuals.</p> <p>Obama announced plans for stricter gun laws in an <a href=":http://www.euronews.com/2016/01/05/obama-says-u-s-must-act-on-gun-violence-defends-new-gun-control-rules">emotional 2016 speech</a> referencing the Sandy Hook shooting, which saw the mass shooting of children and teachers in 2012.</p> <p>The ex-president tried unsuccessfully to pass new gun control measures in the wake of Sany Hook.</p> <p>Obama also made his exasperation at the deaths related to gun violence on Twitter.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel.</p>— President Obama (@POTUS44) <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS44/status/612437042207834112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">21 June 2015</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>“President Obama’s obsession with gun control knows no boundaries,” the National Rifle Association, a powerful gun lobby group, said at the time.</p> <p>Trump, who <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-signs-bill-revoking-obama-era-gun-checks-people-mental-n727221">signed a bill into law</a> in February rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun, did not mention the US’ laws around carrying firearms in <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/02/trumps-full-speech-following-the-las-vegas-attack">his speech</a> after the <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/03/las-vegas-shooting-what-we-knowwhich">Las Vegas shooting</a> saw 59 killed and 525 injured. </p> <p>A move that was criticised by anti-gun campaigners and Democratic lawmakers past and present alike.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hillary Clinton: “We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the <span class="caps">NRA</span>, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.” <a href="https://t.co/SQjn4zGWki">pic.twitter.com/SQjn4zGWki</a></p>— <span class="caps">NBC</span> Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCNightlyNews/status/914858210409971712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">2 October 2017</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>The US Congress was debating two major laws to loosen gun restrictions at the beginning of October 2017 – one concerning the use of gun silencers and the other the right to carry concealed weapons across state lines.</p> <p>It remained to be seen if change could be in the pipeline with gun lobbyists exerting tight control over US lawmakers and fending off any whiff of change.</p> <p>Those on the front line of gun attacks continue to lead calls for Congress to act.</p>