The gunman who opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday was responsible for the 307th mass shooting in the U.S. in 2017. The statistics are tracked by the nonprofit research organization the Gun Violence Archive, which collects data on shootings of four or more people at a single time and place.
For each major tragedy, a community and the nation are devastated, victims are mourned, and politicians react. Yet legislative action fails to follow lawmakers’ “thoughts and prayers.”
Amid the bloodshed, no significant new gun controls have been enacted, despite polls finding that the majority of Americans want changes in gun laws to protect lives. A Politico/Morning Consult poll last month in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 people, found that most of those surveyed — 64 percent — wanted stricter gun controls. But only 26 percent believe there’s a good or excellent chance that Congress will pass tougher gun laws in the next year or so.
Politicians have begun the grieving process. Donald Trump said Sunday that his “thoughts and prayers” were with the victims, but he didn’t mention how a similar tragedy might be avoided in the future.
HuffPost has reported the reactions before — after the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the summer of 2012 that killed 12, and after the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School later that year that claimed the lives of 20 young children and six adults. It was more of the same following the San Bernardino shootings in 2015 and the Orlando nightclub shootings in June 2016 that killed 49 people. America mourned again just last month after the shootings in Vegas — and now yet again.