Is Trump moving to the centre on handguns? Don’t hold your breath

The president seemed ready to take on the NRA but experience should construct us wary of his inconsistency and inability to master detail

Donald Trump stunned Washington this week by espousing a series of gun control measures long opposed by the National Rifle Association and most Republicans on Capitol Hill. The predominating question remained how long it would last.

Senate Democrats breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when they awoke to find Trump had not backtracked on gun control in an early morning tweet. (” Background Checks a big part of the conversation ,” he said .)

But on Thursday night, an NRA executive left the White House with a quite different impression of where the president stood on gun control legislation.

” I had a great fulfilling tonight with @realDonaldTrump& @VP ,” Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm, tweeted.” We all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep handguns away from dangerous people. POTUS& VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, subsistence strong due process and don’t want gun control .”

An hour afterward, Trump tweeted:” Good( Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA !”

The president has been under pressure to reform America’s firearm statutes in the wake of the 14 February high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead. On Wednesday, Trump convened a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators to identify various legislative proposals on what ranks among the most politically contentious issues in Washington.

The discussion was televised for full impact, casting Trump once more as a deal-making chairman willing to buck members of his own party. But to skeptics, the display was reminiscent of Trump’s approach to immigration earlier this year- when he similarly adopted a softer tone before veering back to the right.

” It was just this January where the president held a bipartisan session on a thorny issue, immigration, and seemed interested in find common ground ,” the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, said here on Thursday.” He said he was willing to buck the extremes, and encouraged lawmakers to act .”

” Unfortunately the president was pulled back by the hard right, and avoided a bipartisan proposal from emerging ,” Schumer added.

” That happened several times. That cannot happen on guns .”

For Trump, vacillating constantly between vying policy positions is far from new. As a candidate, Trump repeatedly contracted himself while also doing away with the views he previously held as a Manhattan real estate mogul who donated to Democrats.

Since taking office, Trump has maintained a reliably conservative record and largely acted on the protectionist agenda that defined his presidential campaign.

So when Trump stated his support on Wednesday for universal background checks, taking away handguns from the mentally ill, new age restrictions for purchasing certain handguns, and even flirted with banning certain assault weapons, Republican balked.

” We have the second amendment and due process of law for a reason ,” said Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska.

” Strong leaders do not automatically agree with the last thing that was said to them .”

In one particularly striking exchange, Trump castigated Pat Toomey, a Republican senator from Pennsylvania, for resisting a proposal that would raise the age limit for buying certain guns from 18 to 21.

” You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA ,” Trump said.

The White House was left doing damage control. Trump’s aides reportedly told Republican on Capitol Hill to recall the immigration debate, when the president appeared to side with Democrat on a pathway to citizenship for young, undocumented immigrants before returning to a decidedly hard-right framework.

Trump’s allies weren’t the only ones describing parallels to the president’s handled with immigration.

Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat who was deeply to participate in immigration talks at the White House, expressed skepticism that Trump’s newfound positions on firearm safety would stick.

” I wouldn’t bet the farm on it ,” Durbin said.

Others gun control advocates were more hopeful.

Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut who has led the fight for stricter firearm laws, said he is anticipated to” take the president at his term “.

” Republicans are feeling the hot even more than ever ,” Murphy said.” This debate is different after[ Wednesday’s] session .”

Read more:

Trained to shoot: the Utah teachers taking up firearms in their classrooms

To fight school shootings, Utah permits educators to carry a handgun at school and many are choosing to arm themselves and are taking combat shooting courses as preparation

Ryan Ferree, 33, is a keen shooter. If he was able to, he would shoot until the 160 -decibel sound of a gunshot didn’t faze him. He would shoot so often that he wouldn’t freeze up if he had to aim at someone he knew.

Ferree wasn’t always interested in firearms. He got his concealed-carry permit in March, after becoming a teacher. Three months later, in June, he’s taking a local combat shooting course offered to teachers in St George, Utah.

Utah is one of 14 US countries where educators can carry a handgun at school. Following the shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida, Rowdy’s Range started offering the class- which normally expenses almost $800- free of charge to teachers.

One of the course teachers, Brett Pruitt, 38, believes that teachers have the right to be armed if they prefer:” We devote our children to educators for four to six hours a day and trust them with their safety. My personal opinion is we should give them the means to[ keep those children safe ].”

School principals aren’t allowed to ask educators whether they carry a weapon on premises, so there’s no official figure on how many do, but gun rights groups guess it’s around 1 %. In March, classes were often fully booked, but when I visit, five people turn out in total across two separate 12 -person classes.

‘ Gunfighting 101 for Educator ‘, a course taught by Rowdy Reeve and Brett Pruitt at a gun range in Hurricane, Utah. Photograph: Mikayla Whitmore for the Guardian

Regardless, range owned Rowdy Reeve, 41, insures it as his responsibility to provide the course:” If educators are going to take a weapon into school, they should be trained to use one ,” he says.

Ferree chose he wanted to carry after his first lockdown drill. The drills are designed to prepare teachers and students for an active shooter situation; the students conceal in blind spots in their classrooms while someone pretends to force-out entry. A former military man, Ferree didn’t like having to hide in the corner:” It attains me sick to think that if someone came in and tried to harm my children, I’d be nothing more than a meat shield .”

He is one of the many educators emboldened by President Trump’s proposition that highly trained teachers might be able to stop shootings in their schools. For Ferree, it’s all a matter of practice:” I didn’t know how to teach math before I tried it ,” he says.

Another math teacher, Michelle Oldroyd, 53, rebuffs him:” There are a lot more repercussions for get this wrong, than messing up a math class .”

The repercussions for carrying a weapon can, indeed, be taken seriously. When a Utah teacher, Michelle Montgomery-Ferguson, 39, accidentally shot herself in the leg at Westbrook elementary school in 2014, it didn’t matter that she didn’t remember pulling the trigger. It didn’t even matter that the gun, placed on the toilet paper dispenser in a school bathroom, wasn’t in her hand when it discharged. The mistake was enough for her to be charged with a class B misdemeanor, with the possibility of six months in prison. Montgomery-Ferguson escaped jail hour, but shortly after she was charged, she resigned from the school where she had taught sixth grade for 14 years.

Pruitt and Reeve are ex-law enforcement. During two days on the outdoor range, they indicate teachers how to effectively conceal themselves behind barrels that they pretend are bookcases, and how to dodge gunfire in a hallway. They will practise shooting while sitting behind a desk, and how to quickly draw a weapon and aim in one swift movement.

At hours, it feels like something out of a shoot’ em up video game. The course does not include any de-escalation train or lessons on how to safely store your handgun in the classroom, and there is no discussion of racial biases and how to militate against them.

Ryan Ferree, 33, during a train class for educators. Ferree, who teaches seventh and eighth grade math, said it’s all a matter of practice:’ I didn’t know how to teach math before I tried it .’ Photograph: Mikayla Whitmore for the Guardian

” That stuff’s supposed to come before this class ,” says Pruitt.” If you can resolve the situation any other way,[ you] should. But if a educator objective up in a gunfight, I want them to be able to fight their way out without getting harmed .”

On the car journey back, Reeve asks what I’m planning to write. I tell him about the concerns of some locals: that the existence of the class, whether intentionally or not, could pressure some educators to carry guns when they don’t want to, or pressure them to be heroes when they aren’t trained to.

I also tell him that in Utah, like the rest of the country, it seems like what constructs some communities feel safe against gun violence is exactly what constructs other communities feel unsafe.” I see that ,” says Reeve.

* * *

The idea of training teachers to shoot has been met with mixed reactions across America. The National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers’ foyer, is against it. After the Parkland shooting, 14 states is moving forward bills to allow educators to be armed, but only one of them- Florida- passed the law. Students involved in the nationwide March for Our Lives initiative have expressed concerns about the proposals.

In Utah, at a suicide prevention meeting, many feel a suicide-focused strategy would help deal with school shootings.” Most mass shootings have been driven by suicidal ideation ,” says Craig Bryan, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Utah.

Cathy Barber, another member of the suicide prevention squad and an academic at the Harvard School of Public Health, believes that political polarisation between left and right has fueled an inability to move forward on firearm reform.” Sometimes I feel good-hearted anti-gun groups think agreeing to focus on suicide means they’ve confessed to the handgun hall ,” says Barber.

But while handgun lobbyists in the room are happy to discuss suicide prevention, discussions around police-on-citizen shootings, gang violence and mass shootings seem less welcome.

Catherine Voutaz, a mother who recently lost her 15 -year-old son Chandler to suicide, was surprised and disappointed to discover that Chandler’s school district expended grant money on training for live intruder drills.” Mass shootings make up a tiny proportion of gun demises ,” Voutaz says, outside the session.” Most people don’t even recognise how big a problem suicide is, because of the media focus on school shootings .”

While training teachers to shoot has been one of the more controversial recommendations for solving school firearm violence, it’s not the only option being discussed. Trump’s national school safety commission has been tasked with looking at everything from video games to how journalists encompass mass shootings. Schools across the country are installing facial recognition systems, metal detectors and more police officers in schools.

A newspaper target at the shooting class for educators. Photo: Mikayla Whitmore for the Guardian

The effectiveness of such police officers- called school resource policemen, or SROs- is debated. While Scot Peterson, the police officer at Parkland, became a figure of national hatred and ridicule for not entering the building where Nikolas Cruz was shooting students with an attack rifle, many pointed out there was little he could have done against an AR-1 5.

Justin Chapman, a captain at the Sandy police department in Utah, ran in schools for decades, and now operates a private business develop police to work in schools as SROs.

Chapman avoided his first school shooting 20 years ago, two days into his first role as an SRO, when he found an assault rifle on a student.

He believes developing relationships so students feel comfortable confiding in officers is the most important part of the role:” In many cases where there’s been a school shooting, a student has known[ it was coming] but didn’t feel safe enough to tell anybody ,” Chapman says.

Utah has a fraught history with law enforcement in schools. In 2014, SROs arrested 299 students. While school-related arrests have almost halved since 2012, racial gaps have gone up- Native Americans were 8.8 times more likely than their white peers to be arrested in 2014 and Pacific Islanders were 3.3 times more likely.

Chapman disagrees that SROs are racially biased:” If more Latinos are perpetrating more crimes in a school they’ll get arrested more .”

But the local non-profit Voices for Utah Children, which conducts research on the school-to-prison pipeline, disagrees.” Are non-white kids more violent, or more likely to commit crimes ?” asks policy analyst Anna Thomas.” There’s no data to show that’s true, all that’s shown is that they get caught more .”

* * *

When it comes to solving gun violence, many in Utah believe in putting the very best of the majority first, even if that entails some necessary evils. Anna Thomas believes that’s a problem:” When we’re talking about school security and how to keep children safer, we always have to ask: which children? If it’s always black and brown kids who feel less safe, those solutions are not appropriate for national societies .”

Saida Dahir, 17, is a March for Our Lives coordinator in Salt Lake City. For her, arming teachers and increasing law enforcement in schools will inevitably end up sacrificing the safety of minority students for the peace of mind of their white equivalents. She points out that the existence of these measures doesn’t build everyone feel most secure:” The dread of firearms, and the fear of policemen is in our blood. We watch videos of our communities torn apart by both every day ,” she says.

Dahir is a Somalian refugee who escaped to Kenya with her family as a newborn and came to the US as a three-year-old. She guessed the US was a mythical place of dreams:” I figured, people don’t die here, right? It’s all Hollywood and Disneyland ,” she says.

Today, Dahir receives her schools militarised, her school hallways a danger zone, and her black scalp and hijab an invitation for suspicion and violence. When she first got to the US, her mother, a housemaid, prayed in closets while on the job, for anxiety of being seen.

Like many students of colour in Utah, Dahir says that resource officers tend to treat minority students differently- detecting undue reason to chastise them, or to suspect they are up to no good. She isn’t reassured by the push for more security in schools:” If these rules attain everybody safer, why do I find myself cringing my way through school ?”

Shell casings during the class. Photo: Mikayla Whitmore for the Guardian

If forced to choose, she and some other minority students say they would rather have armed teachers in schools than more law enforcement.

Yet many people do feel safer around more cops, more firearms and less handgun limiteds, and believe the second amendment is intended to help American citizens defend themselves from the threat of tyranny.

In Utah, this is intensified. Many people in the largely Mormon state are shaped by tales of persecution in their family history. They tell narratives of how Mormons were terrorized and chased out of the eastern US and forced to settle in territories that weren’t for the purposes of the control of the US government at the time. Central to this story is how necessary firearms were, and still are, to protect Mormons from a tyrannical government.

Dahir feels that the same rights are not afforded to black people. In May this year, her childhood friend Elijah Smith was shot to death by Salt Lake City police. Smith, who had run away from police who suspected him of stealing a cellphone, was killed while raising his hands to surrender.

His death came months after Patrick Harmon was Tasered and shot to death by police for cycling in Salt Lake City without proper lighting in August 2017. The district attorney’s office initially refused to release footage of the arrest; after public protest, the footage, eventually released in October, indicated a man shot in the back while running away.

” Are these the people that they’re sending to protect us ?” asks Dahir.

* * *

Utah’s school safety commission recently voted for modest handgun reforms such as background checks for secondhand sales and extreme risk protection statutes, which let authorities to seize an individual’s guns if they are judged to pose a risk to themselves or others. But there is still a long way to go in Utah on firearm reform.

When March for Our Lives students marched in Utah, firearm rights proponents organised a March Before Our Lives counter-protest.

The Utah Sports Shooting Council chairman, Clark Aposhian, owned over 300 guns when he was arrested in 2014 after driving a 2.5 -tonne military vehicle on to his ex-wife’s property and allegedly threatening to run over her partner.( Aposhian was fined for disorderly conduct, but domestic violence charges against him were dropped .) After authorities confiscated his guns, Aposhian became a vocal firearm rights activist.

Aposhian, who was on Utah’s school safety commission, is adamant that schools can be made safer without firearm reform:” We need to enforce our the existing laws ,” he says.” Until then don’t start asking for any new laws that are gonna merely curtail me and not the criminals .”

He does accept that there are some limitations:” People who induce poor decisions shouldn’t be allowed to bear arms. For every right comes regulations ,” he says.

Here, he is referencing what he believes is a difference between the way that gun violence manifests itself in different cultures.” White people kill themselves. That’s not the same in African American or Hispanic communities. They’re preying upon one another ,” he says.

For Aposhian, the route that gun violence has to be dealt with is simple: more apprehends. He points out that out of tens of thousands of cases of offenders buying firearms during the Obama administration, merely 44 were ever apprehended.

These communities, says Aposhian, are mainly minority areas- in contrast to the white community, which, he says, has ” very few true firearm incidents; ours are largely related to drugs and alcohol “.

Aposhian doesn’t believe in taking a similarly heavy-handed approach when it is necessary to criminalising people who fail to lock away their guns, however:” I prefer the carrot approach. Let’s give these households some fund to buy a handgun safe, then talk about why they should lock it away .”

Aposhian’s blind spot seems to reflect a broader problem with the US’s gun culture- an inability to see why macho solutions to handgun violence, like arming educators, are experienced differently by people of colour.

When I ask him whether this is unfair, he’s frank in his response:” Well, to be honest, I haven’t thought about that ,” he says.

Read more:

fruit cake adornment notionsMarco Rubio: Parkland survivors ‘have done more in five weeks than has been done in 15 years’

Florida senator kudoes students for forcing action on Capitol hill without politicizing Americas gun control debate beyond repair

The families of the Parkland shooting victims have done more to legislate gun safety legislation in the five weeks since the 14 February massacre than others have in more than a decade, Florida senator Marco Rubio has said.

Speaking to the Guardian on the eve of Saturday’s March for Our Lives in Washington, Rubio credited the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting with forcing action on Capitol Hill- without politicizing the debate beyond repair.

” They’ve done more in five weeks on handgun violence than has been done in 15 years ,” he said.” The parents have come together, all 17, even though they don’t always concur. They aren’t out there saying,’ Don’t vote for anything unless we have everything ‘.”

But Rubio also warned against the increasingly partisan nature of the firearms debate, which he said could halt the momentum behind a new spirit of bipartisan compromise on issues that include gun violence restraining orders and creating the minimum age limiteds for buying firearms.


” The posture of total victory — the idea that somehow some of us are going to come up here and get everything we want and simply run over the other side — our system is just not set up for that ,” Rubio said.

” We’re creating unrealistic expectations and, in the process , nothing happens .”

The Republican senator repudiated including with regard to the idea that an attack weapons forbid should serve as a litmus test, suggesting such an approach was neither pragmatic nor productive.

Rubio was interviewed as part of the guest-editing of the Guardian US site by student journalists from the Eagle Eye, the newspaper of Stoneman Douglas. The students requested the interview with the Florida senator because they especially wanted to put questions immediately to lawmakers from both parties as part of the collaboration.

Rubio sat down with the Guardian on Capitol hill on Thursday, soon after unveiling a so-called ” red flag” bill, which would encourage states to adopt policies permitting law enforcement officials or family members to file gun restraining orders to remove handguns from potentially violent individuals.

Rubio’s home state of Florida, as well as a handful of others, have enacted such laws. Orlando police have already credited the law with avoiding a potential mass shooting.

Congress also appeared close to sending a spending bill to Donald Trump’s desk, which included measures that would: reverse a ban on handgun violence research; and amend the existing background checks system. Rubio is a co-sponsor of the latter proposalwhich does not close loopholes for private sales or purchases at handgun depicts but tightens measures to ensure that states and federal agencies are actually entering the proper records into the federal background check system.

Rubio said he remains supportive of further gun control, such as creating the age restriction for buying some firearms from 18 to 21, but he predicted it would take longer to corral enough elections. The senator also indicated he was open to new limits on high capacity publications but had yet to coalesce around a specific proposal.

” I’ve tried to rank these things , not just in order of how quickly we can pass them, but how effective they would be ,” Rubio told.” I believe the most effective thing we can do to prevent firearm violence is to identify potential attackers and stop them before they act .”

Rubio had a meteoric rise as a young senator, but his bid for the Republican presidential nomination last year came to a halting when Donald Trump beat him in his home state primary.

Rubio subsequently chose to seek re-election to the Senate, reversing an earlier pledge to leave Congress. In doing so, he cited in part another mass shooting in Florida- the June 2016 attack at the LGBT Orlando nightclub Pulse.

That shooting, as with the spate of others since the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, failed to produce any new laws in Washington.

After Pulse, in which an alleged Islamic State sympathizer gunned down 49 people and wounded 58 others, Rubio proposed legislation that would make it more difficult for suspected terrorists to buy firearms. The proposal ran nowhere in the Senate.

As a 2016 presidential candidate, Rubio positioned himself as a staunch proponent of the second amendment right to bear arms. Critics have been quick to point to the roughly $3.3 m Rubio has received from the National Rifle Association’s political limb as proof of the handgun lobby’s influence over his posture toward gun control.

Rubio has insisted his donors do not dictate his agenda, but rather buy into it, and refused to commit to no longer taking fund from the NRA when he was put on the spot on live television by a Parkland student during last month’s CNN town hall.

He chafed at the notion that his approach to the firearm debate was shaped by the NRA line, telling the Guardian he found the relentless focus on one group counterproductive to bipartisan talks.

Marco Rubio at the CNN town hall, where he met survivors of the Parkland students. Photograph: Reuters

” That’s a terrible route to judge public policy- an idea is either a good idea or a bad notion ,” Rubio told.” This fixation on one group versus another group in our debate … I get why people are here doing it for political purposes, but in my opinion we should judge ideas by whether they work or don’t work- not by who supports them or who opposes them .”

Some of the Parkland students disagree with Rubio’s line of defense. David Hogg, one of the more high-profile activists in the aftermath of the shooting, called out Rubio by name during a Thursday press conference on Capitol Hill.

‘If you want to continue to be supported by the NRA, like Marco Rubio, that’s OK ,” Hogg told,” Because we’ll vote you out. It’s as simple as that .”

Rubio, who has met with several of the Parkland households, said it was the right of the voters to force out lawmakers whose record they found to be lacking. But he disputed the notion that his ideas were workshopped through the NRA.

Rubio pointed to a proposal he is pushing that was advocated by Sandy Hook Promise, a group formed after the tragedy in Newtown. A version of the legislation, known as the STOP School Violence Act, was passed by the House of Representatives last week and would offer federal awards to states to strengthen school security and bolster school training to identify potential threats.

Ryan Petty, whose 14 -year-old daughter Alaina JoAnn Petty died in the Parkland shooting, told Rubio had personally engaged with several families of the Parkland victims and visited their home while developing his response.

” We are aligned on the idea that we need to focus on common values and ideas and craft legislation that addresses those commonalities first ,” Petty told the Guardian.

” After every mass shooting, we unavoidably devolve in to a debate over the meaning of the second amendment, its meaning and applicability to modern America ,” he added.” Legislatively, it’s a road to nowhere .”

Read more:

Our children are being shot by weapons of war and the government does nothing

Parents across the US cant send their children to learn math and reading without worrying that theyll never hug them again

The Week in Patriarchy is a weekly roundup of what’s happening in the world of feminism and sexism. If you’re not already receiving it by email, make sure to subscribe .

Ten people, most of them children, are dead this week because the United States refuses to do anything about our firearm problem. As an American, I’m furious and heartbroken; as a mom to a school-aged child, I’m terrified.

Our kids are literally being shot to death by weapons of war, and the government continues to do nothing. Mothers across the country can’t send their children to learn math and reading without worrying that they’ll never hug or find them again. This is no way to live.

Any politician that takes fund from the NRA has blood on their hands, and any legislator for whom stopping firearm violence isn’t their first priority should be ashamed. Who are we if we can’t even protect the most vulnerable among us?

I’d offer terms of hope, but I don’t have any. I lost them in Sandy Hook. And Parkland. And Texas.

Glass half full

This Australian man who has a rare blood type has been donating plasma every week FOR SIXTY YEARS. He’s saved millions of babies – literally.

What I’m RTing

Shannon Watts (@ shannonrwatts)

Don’t bother tweeting me that it’s too soon to talk about the necessity of achieving stronger firearm laws. It’s always too soon in America. For children shot at Santa Fe High School today, it’s too late.

May 18, 2018

Leah McElrath (@ leahmcelrath)

If you watch nothing else about the mass shooting at #SantaFe High School in Texas, watch this.

Her name is reportedly Paige. #SantaFeHighSchool Xwy5VMCOTK

May 18, 2018

Chris Hayes (@ chrislhayes)

Bill Gates says that in* both* meetings he had with Trump, Trump asked if HPV and HIV were the same thing. https :// Py7fRwC6l0

May 17, 2018

Claire Hennessy (@ chennessybooks)

If you don’t agree with abortion there is literally nothing you can do to stop it happening in the world.
Vote to make it illegal. Fund fake crisis pregnancy centres. Wave banners. Stand outside clinics. Lock girls up.
You can only make it less safe. You can’t stop it.

May 17, 2018

Who I’m reading

Jia Tolentino on” the rage of the incels ,” The New York Times on the racist criminalization of marijuana in New York ; and Kaitlin Menza at Cosmo on the women taking over for Eric Schneiderman.

What I’m watching

Jay Smooth on” not monetizing line-steppers” and professional provocateurs.

How outraged I am

The Trump administration announced on Friday that it’s implementing a domestic gag rule which would prevent any health centers that receive Title X funding from even mentioning abortion. I’m at a full ten out of ten.

How I’m making it through this week

I’m trying to look to student activists this week to give me hope about the sad country of gun reform in our country, while also recognizing how supremely unjust it is that this onu has been placed on their shoulders.

Read more:

US mass shootings becoming more frequent aEUR” and more deadly

The shooting in San Bernardino with 14 victims has added to the growing number over the past three decades, but support for gun control has fallen

The shooting in San Bernardino with 14 victims has added to the growing number of mass shootings in the US.

The San Bernardino sheriffs department confirmed 14 people are dead in Wednesdays shooting. That would make this the worst killing since 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school in 2012 and the sixth deadliest mass shooting since 1982, according to a database built by Mother Jones.

FBI active shooter statistics Photograph: FBI

More shootings

In 2014, 336 mass shootings were recorded by a Reddit community which tracks all incidents where four or more individuals are injured( including the shooter ). That number “ve already” outstripped this year. In the 334 days since 1 January, there have been 351 mass shootings in the country that total doesnt include todays shooting.

The number of victims has also risen. In 2014, 383 people were killed in mass shootings and 1,239 were injured. So far this year, 447 people have been killed and 1,292 injured.

Official numbers can be found from a report published by the FBI last year, which analyse active shooting situations( though their definition of a mass shooting is broader and includes all incidents where an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a restricted and populated region ). The FBI figures point to a rise since 2000 both in the number of incidents and the number of casualties.

Increasingly frequent mass shootings. Photograph: Mother Jones
Opinion polling gun control. Photograph: Pew Research Center
Opinion polling gun control. Photograph: Pew Research Center

Fewer days between mass shootings

The last mass shooting resulted simply five days ago at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, when a gunman killed three people and injured nine others. That too appears to be part of a wider pattern where the interval between shootings is falling. An analysis from the Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University last year found that between 1982 and 2011 mass shootings resulted every 200 days on average. Between 2011 and 2014, they resulted every 64 days as the following chart above from Mother Jones shows.

More support for handgun ownership

Despite the rise in the number of mass shootings, public opinion about gun control has changed over that period away from controlling gun ownership according to Pew Research Center.

Their survey question, which has been asked since 1993, has been criticised as polarizing and too simplistic. The topic asks: What do you think is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns or to control gun ownership ?.

However separate questions about banning specific weapons also point to rising support for the human rights of own guns.

When Pew has conducted surveys immediately before and after shootings, they have found that violence has little consequence on public opinion about gun control.

Read more:

Obama’s gun control plan is a possibility watered down, but it’s not flat

In the midst of the armed militia in Oregon and gun control advocates exhorting strict reform, Obamas background check proposal absence severity. But a closer looking presents an unprecedented step to restrict access and save lives

More than 2,500 miles away from the calm White House east room where Barack Obama will announce his 10 -point plan to tackle handgun violence on Tuesday, the armed occupation of a federal building by rightwing militia in Oregon is a potent reminder of why even this unprecedented unilateral action by the president has been heavily watered down.

Campaigners had exhorted Obama to take much bolder steps to circumvent the National Rifle Association lobby in Congress and deal immediately with what he has described as the scourge of gun violence across the US.

Among the more confrontational proposals put forward by Everytown for Gun Safety co-founder Michael Bloomberg when he met with the president to discuss options for executive action, were the immediate arrest of anyone who lied about failing a background check and confiscating existing weapons from those who lost the right to buy them due to criminal activity, restraining orders or domestic abuse.

Republican opponents in Washington have promised to fight even the more modest background check proposals that remain in the White House plan through the courts, but it is not hard to imagine the real combats that might have resulted from the pistols seizures and mass apprehends proposed by Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City.

The continuing siege in Oregon by heavily armed membersof the Bundy family ostensibly prompted not by gun control but the far less inflammatory issue of federal land ownership would surely prove to be only a mild foretaste of the violent standoffs to go. From my cold, dead hands, as NRA advocate Charlton Heston used to say.

That is not to say that the proposals that remain in Tuesdays plan will sit easily with the bitterly divided country either. Gun sales have risen in recent weeks as gossips correctly swirled that Obama would close a loophole currently letting many transactions carried out online or at handgun revealsto avoid the background check system.

House speaker Paul Ryan, who is leading the official opponent to the measures in Congress despite once supporting similar loophole closures, accused the president of long-standing dismissiveness toward the second amendment of the constitution a reference to the presidents infamous description of small-town America bitterly clinging to guns and religion, which many assured as a direct assault on the constitutional right to bear arms.

Yet the background check fix proposed by Obama and once described as very reasonable and obvious by Ryan, is far from toothless either.

A research examine by Bloombergs Everytown group found that a quarter of a million weapons were sold by unlicensed, but high-volume sellers through only one website,

The legislative ambiguity in speech depict which retailers are deemed to be engaged in the business of arms sales means one marketer in Florida who claimed to be a hobbyist was exonerated on charges of dealing without a licence despite selling more than 400 firearms and building $30,000 – $50,000 a year from handgun show sales.

The White House proposal for stiffening the language goes further than Bloomberg suggested too. Despite proposals that a fixed limit be set for the number of guns allowed to be sold informally before background checks kick in, Obama is announcing instead that any volume of transactions could force the marketer to procure a license if other hallmarks of professional activity are detected something foes argue could be used to persecute those simply making a sale to a friend or relative.

The background checks will become more comprehensive too, with measures to encourage states to swap information and pass on information on those with mental disease another issue likely to inflame those on the right who see Obamas Affordable Care Act as an already Orwellian intrusion on their medical privacy.

For campaigners and those watching Americas gun epidemic from abroad, such steps may appear as woefully inadequate attempts to deal with the millions of weapons already in circulation. Few of the mass shootings that have captured the headlines in recent weeks were caused by firearms obtained from demonstrates or online resellers.

Nevertheless, the White House is adamant that focusing on restricting access to those with a known history of criminality or mental health is an important step that will save lives.

Even with the loopholes existing, our background check system over the last decade and a half or so has prevented about 2m gun transactions, told spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday. Thats 2m guns that were blocked from going into the hands of people who shouldnt have them.

And though the package of measures Obama will formally announce on Tuesday is far weaker than the laws he recommended Congress to pass after the 2012 Newtown massacre( which was also accompanied by 23 largely ineffectual executive actions ), the legal combat over background checks will at least be one he hopes to spare any Democratic successor from having to fight again where reference is foliages office next January.

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Tashfeen Malik: who was the ‘shy housewife’ turned San Bernardino killer?

Only a vague sketch of Maliks background has emerged as investigators struggle to discover why she and her husband became radicalised

As law enforcement officials begin to piece together what led two California residents to shoot and kill 14 people at a social services centre in San Bernardino, the personal history of the one of the killers remained largely unknown: that of Tashfeen Malik, a 29 -year-old Pakistani woman described as a shy housewife.

Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, left their six-month-old daughter with Farooks mother on Wednesday morning before going to the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. There, the couple opened fire on a health department meeting, killing 14 and allegedly perpetrating the worst mass shooting since 26 were killed in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.

The couple were killed four hours later and two miles back in a gun battle with police. The FBI said on Friday it is beginning to investigate the incident as an an act of terrorism after it seems Malik pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a now-removed Facebook post. There is no proof the group helped plan the two attacks.

Local mosque leaders described Farook, who worked for the San Bernardino County department of public health, as a religious man who was shy, enjoyed working on autoes, and appeared to be putting roots down in San Bernardino. Some reports indicated he became more withdrawn after meeting and marrying Malik, who was noticeable in the community largely by how little people knew about her. She, too, did not raise any obvious red flag, however.

Criminal profilers contacted by the Guardian said the veneer of normality was a key component of the couples plan to build an arsenal of semi-automatic weapons and home-made tube bombs and to be implemented by the killed, because it minimised the risk of discovery.

But the profilers said that it was highly unusual for a woman and especially a new mother to engage in a kind of visceral, predatory violence that the clinical literature associates almost exclusively with men.

This combo photo shows the two suspects in the mass shooting in San Bernardino. Photograph: AFP/ Getty Images

This is not a woman who has your typical maternal instincts, Mary Ellen OToole, a former top behaivoural analyst for the FBI who now directs the forensic science program at George Mason university, told the Guardian.

This is very schemed, strategic behavior, she said. They have this newborn, and what makes a family more normal or traditional than to have a baby? Yet they maintained a plan for mission-oriented, cold-blooded, maximum violence for weeks or months. It indicates the possibility that the baby was in part a prop to help them look normal.

Park Dietz, who has been profiling mass killers for more than 30 years, said he was unaware of any case of a couple erupting in mass violence when the targeted victims were not family members or people perceived to have harmed their child. The necessary ingredients for an attack of this kind are to be willing to die that day and an inclination to blame other people, either out of paranoia or a direct grievance, he said.

The mystery surrounding Malik extends to her background in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, of which merely a vague sketch has now come illuminate. It is not known when she became radicalised, who, if someone, radicalised her, and whether she described Farook into the deadly scheme or vice versa

The FBI has indicated that she and Farook probably self-radicalised online, but even that process invites more questions than answers.

San Bernardino being investigated as an act of terrorism, tells FBI

According to Reuters, Malik moved to Saudi Arabia with her father at a young age and lived there until 2007, cut off from the rest of her parents family after an inheritance dispute.

We feel a lot of sadness but we also feel ashamed that someone from our household has done this, Maliks uncle Javed Rabbani, a provincial education department clerk from central Punjab, told Reuters. We cant even imagine doing something like this. This is a mindset that is alien to us.

Maliks step-aunt could only offer vague impressions about what had become of her niece after she and her father moved.

From what we heard, they lived differently, their mindset is different. We are from a land of Sufi saints … this is very shocking for us, school teacher Hifza Bibi, the step-sister of Maliks father, who also lives in Karor Lal Esan told Reuters.

Our brother … went to Saudi and since then he doesnt care about anyone here, Bibi told. A human who didnt come to attend his own mothers funeral, what can you expect from him?

Malik is believed to have returned to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia in 2007 to attend pharmacology school at Bahauddin Zakariya university. She lived there at the university hostel until 2012, and was described as an introverted student without radical views.

She was known to be good student with no religion extremist tendencies, an intelligence official are stationed in the nearby township of Layyah told Reuters.

Syed Nisar Hussain Shah, one of Maliks professors in the pharmacy department, said she was a diligent student and one of the small minority of women who wore a veil. She remained always in a veil and she was not mixing with other students; she was shy, he said.

Pakistani media reported Malik had links to the Red mosque in Islamabad. The notorious mosque that was the scene of a bloody firearm battle with the army in 2007 has denied claims Malik went there. Mullah Qadir, the personal assistant to mosque leader Abdul Aziz, said there was no truth in the claim. Last year female students at the mosque created a video in which they pledge allegiance to Isis.

Malik and Farook reportedly met in 2013 on hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are required to take at least once in their lifetime. They got married shortly after, and Malik entered the US on a K-1 visa, provided for spouses of American citizens.

Mustafa Kuko, the Riverside Islamic Center director, told the Guardian that although he hosted the couples marriage celebration dinner at a mosque in Riverside and often talked with Farook, he had at most exchanged a few pleasantries with Malik.

Kuko said Farook asked for blessings for the matrimony in the midst of 2013, but his understanding was that the couple married in Saudi Arabia, where she lived after moving from her native Pakistan. The festivity dinner in Riverside was attended by 250 -3 00 people who ate traditional Pakistani dishes.

It was a very joyous occasion,[ Farook] was very much pleased, he looked relaxed, comfortable and happy. We didnt infer anything about him that was abnormal at that time, Kuko said.

Malik visited Pakistan again in 2013 and 2014, security officials told Reuters, but it is unclear who she fulfilled or where she visited.

Malik was not well known in the local Muslim community, local leaders have said. Ive truly never seen her, I dont know what she looked like, Khaled Zaidan of the Islamic Community Center of Redlands told the Guardian. Farook occasionally adored there after moving to the region in 2014. From my communication with our members , no one knew who she was.

Riaz Baqai and Mohammad Hossain, officials at a Redlands mosque a two-minute drive from the suspects home, also said they did not know them and were unaware of anyone who did.

Doyle Miller, the landlord of the house in Redlands where the couple apparently lived with their six-month old newborn and Farooks mother, who looked after the child during the day, told the Guardian they seemed like a very normal young couple.

Farook attended the Riverside mosque between 2012 and 2014. He was a regular worshipper, he used to come on a daily basis, Kuko told.

Farook would sometimes arrive as early as 4:30 am, and returned for evening prayers after run, after 7pm. He went on Fridays, his day off from his task as a environmental health inspector, which hed held since around 2010. He never mentioned any problems at work.

The FBI acknowledges knowing little about Tashfeen Malik. Those who attended the mosque with her husband, said they know virtually nothing of her, Associated Press reported. Even Farooks mother, who lived with the couple and their six-month-old daughter, knows very little, according to attorneys for Farooks family.

The Farook family lawyers described the 29 -year-old as merely a homemaker who was quiet like her husband and strictly followed Muslim customs. She wore traditional clothing that encompassed her face so her male relatives didnt even know what she looked like, the AP reported.

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Why more urban women own guns: self-defense and the second amendment

The image of the American handgun proprietor is changing, a definitive survey demonstrates. Urban American girls explain the change: Women are the prey

She only owns a handgun. Shes more likely than male handgun owners to live in an urban area, and less likely to have grown up in a gun-friendly household.

And regardless of how many and what types of guns she owns, shes more likely to report owning handguns for protection than men.

This is the portrait of the American female firearm owned, as depicted by the most definitive survey of US gun ownership in two decades. While gun ownership has long been dominated by men in the US, the survey finds that the percentage of women who choose to pack heat is increasing.

Gun Nation

Of those who own handguns only, 43% are women and almost a one-quarter of those women live in urban areas, according to new research from Northeastern University and the Harvard School of Public Health.

At a recent meeting of the Well Armed Female Central Maryland chapter, members of the women-only gun club were emphatic that they own guns for self-protection. These women hailed from the suburbs and city in the Baltimore area and if they did not already own a handgun, they were in the market for one.

Women are the prey and women are generally weaker and there has to be a way to equalize the battlefield, said Carrie Lightfoot, who founded the Well Armed Woman business in 2012 to create a resource for women to learn more about firearms.
In January 2013, she created a not-for-profit branch for womens gun club chapters, which has grown to 280 groupings of 49 states.

I truly think women are driving the growth[ in gun ownership] because its now accessible to them in ways it has never been before, Lightfoot said.

She bought a firearm during Baltimores police brutality protests

Jenny Jenny Hildebrand carries a purse that holds two guns and ammunition to the indoor scope. Photograph: JM Giordano for the Guardian

The first time Jenny Hildebrand went shooting, she hollered each time she pulled the trigger. She was shaking and wanted to cry as she fired off dozens of rounds.

Bang. Bang. Bang. By the end of her first conference, she felt more confident around handguns and returned to the range a few days later to check out the Well Armed Woman club.

I felt so good I just wanted to come back, she told. Hildebrand, who is now a co-leader of the club, was raised in a household where gun were considered evil, but she decided to go to the range for the first time during what she described as a facing-my-fears kick.

She did not learn to shoot for self-protection, but that is why the Baltimore city resident ultimately decided to buy a firearm. When the city erupted in protests after the police killing of Freddie Gray, she bought a shotgun.

And since acquiring a handgun license, she has purchased two more handguns. She also carries a knife.

Women need to be able to protect themselves no matter what, whether its with a firearm, with a knife, or their own body, Hildebrand said. I think everybody needs to be able to do that.

She said that shooting firearms had taught her more situational awareness even when she was not armed. I feel so much stronger and more comfortable, she said.

And while her opinions on handgun rights are the opposite of those held by the family that taught her to be afraid of handgun, she steers clear of politicians from both sides of the aisle.

I dont think there is any message in the politics these days its just whatever will promote their cause for the moment.

A stand for the second amendment

Andrea Andrea Hunt, 42, of Howard County holds a 9mm H& K VP9 clip at the Freestate Gun Range in Baltimore. Photo: JM Giordano for the Guardian

Andrea Hunt dreams of moving from Howard County, Maryland, to Texas, where she can truly enjoy the second amendment.

She only took up shooting a couple of years ago, but fell in love with it quickly. So much so that it set her marriage to a liberal man from England at risk.

Hes wholly against it. We nearly divorced because of that, she said.

But for Hunt, who is originally from Brazil, the right to bear arms is an essential part of the American experience one that she fears Democratic politicians are going to take away.

When Governor Martin OMalley, in conjunction with the Democratic party in Annapolis, decided to ban certain weapons and to make it more difficult for law-abiding the general public to workout their second amendment right, then I decided to purchase a firearm, she said.

In contrast with the other women in the club, self-defense is not Hunts main reason for owning a gun.

Her reason is the second amendment.

I grew up in a military regime and socialism, and the government will not protect you, they cant, Hunt told. The police cannot protect you. You have to protect yourself and your family.

She was not raised around handguns and she told gun ownership was demonized in Brazil.

Because she had no idea what she was doing, she joined Well Armed Woman to learn more about her rights, how to safely keep a firearm in their families and to become better at shooting.

Now, she said, her husband wants to learn how to shoot.

Theyre going to think I dont belong

Stephanie Stephanie Stockman, chapter leader of the Well Armed Woman, uses a velocity loader to fill up a clip. Photo: JM Giordano for the Guardian

The leader of Well Armed Womans Central Maryland chapter, Stephanie Stockman, said her favorite part of volunteering is helping women overcome their dread of guns.

Its unbelievably empowering when you know that when you go out there that you dont have to worry, you dont have to be afraid, Stockman said.

Her brothers and ex-boyfriend shot firearms, but going to the range with them entail get different, relentless instruction from household a universally stressful experience.

I wanted a place where if I didnt know exactly what I was doing, I could go there and not feel judged like you do with guys, regrettably, Stockman told. Even with the exposure to guns through the men in her family, she did not become serious about shooting until joining Well Armed Woman three years ago.

When I first started, I was scared: theyre going to think I dont belong, she said.

But now she is chapter leader and owns a 9mm handgun. Stockman said the club attracted women of all skill levels. While some members own no guns, others own 15 guns. And recently, Stockman has seen a rise in investigations in the club, though she is not sure why. No matter where people are living now, they are just deciding that protection is more important wholly, she told.

There is a perceived increase in vulnerability

Guns, terror, and LGBT rights: Orlando shooting creates stakes for next president

Following the worst mass shooting in modern American history, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have built their ideological divisions clear

Gun control, homegrown extremism, homophobic violence and the war against Islamic State have all been highlighted by the Orlando nightclub carnage, but deadlock in Washington entails major legislation will probably have to wait until after the November election.

Whoever wins the US presidency knows where to find an in-tray where the risk of being terrorism at home, and its pledge to wars abroad, grinds on 15 years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Senate Democrat went on the front foot on Monday, calling for statutes that would make it harder for terrorists to get their hands on firearms, in particular assault rifles.

In a vivid illustration of ideological division, however, Republican flag-bearer Donald Trump opposed gun control measures, lambasted the immigration system as dysfunctional and claimed vindication in his call for a ban on foreign-born Muslims entering the US.

A landslide victory for Clinton or Trump, with reflected gains in Congress, could give one or the other a mandate for change lacking during the Obama years. In the meantime there is realpolitik. With Obama facing a Republican-led House and Senate, the prospects for action are remote even after the killing of 49 people in the worst mass shooting in American history.

Even so, Senate Democrat lost little time on Monday in advising quick passageway of the regulations defeated last year to impose additional gun controls. The bill would prevent people on terror watch lists and other suspected terrorists from buying firearms or explosives.

The killer in Orlando has been identified as Omar Mateen, a 29 -year-old American-born Muslim, whose weapons included an AR-1 5 semi-automatic rifle. FBI officials said they had investigated him in 2013 and 2014 on suspicion of terrorist sympathies but could not make a suit against him.

Obama himself weighed in on Monday. The fact that we make it this challenging for law enforcement, for example, even to get alerted that somebody who they are watching has purchased a handgun and if they do get alerted, sometimes its hard for them to stop them from getting a firearm is crazy. Its a problem. And we have to, I believe, do some soul-searching.

But again, the peril here is, is that then it aims up being the usual political debate. And the NRA and the gun control folks say that, oh, Obama doesnt want to talk about terrorism. And if “were talking about” terrorism, then people say: why arent you looking at issues of gun control?

At the start of his second word, Obama pushed legislation to expand background checks, banning certain assault-style weapons and cap the size of ammunition clips. That measure collapsed in the Senate and there has been little movement since.

But if Trump elicits an electoral backlash, handing sweeping victories to Democrats, there could be new opportunities for Clinton, who has been more outspoken on such issues than candidates in previous years.

On Monday, she told a rally in Cleveland, Ohio: If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist connections, you should not be able to got to go buy a firearm with no questions asked. And you shouldnt be allowed to exploit loopholes and escape criminal background checks by buying online or at a gun indicate. And yes, if youre too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a handgun in America.

Yet the watchlist argument is less simple than fulfills the eye. The no-fly list, for example, has come under flame from left and right. Drawn up by the FBI in the wake of the 9/11 assaults, it contains 700,000 names, according to one estimate, and has erroneously included infants, US military veterans and politicians, including Edward Kennedy and John Lewis. Analysts describe it as an unfocused and unwieldy blunt instrument.

This is one reason why a Congress that blocked gun control measures after the shooting of 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, seems unlikely to transformation gear now. Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, acknowledged: I dont know whether this profound tragedy will have more of an effect on the minds of members of Congress. Hopefully it will.

But Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the Senate committee on homeland security and governmental affairs, disagreed that stricter handgun laws were the solution. I think theres other root causes in play, he told the Associated Press. I think mental health is a huge issue.

These are the tangibles, more readily quantified. What the White House and Congress should do to promote harmony with both the Muslim and LGBT communities is a more textured long-term challenge, where tone is crucial.

With characteristic bombast, Trump charged straight-out in on Monday. When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats, he said.

We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom using the same thought process as this barbarian killer.

He added: The Muslim communitys so important. They have to work with us and turn in the people who are bad.

At Clintons rally, the tone was very different. We should avoid eroding trust in that community inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric and threatening to ban the family and friends of Muslim Americans, and millions of Muslim business people, hurts the vast majority of Muslims, who love freedom and detest terror.

It is no coincidence, she added, that hate crimes against American Muslims and mosques have tripled since the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.

She called on local leaders, teachers and communities to develop education to recognize signs of radicalisation. And in contrast to Trumps proposed banning on someones, she instead took aim at foreign governments, implying she would take a tougher stand than Obama. It is long past hour for Saudis, Qataris, Kuwaitis and others to stop their citizens from funding extremist organisations.

The Orlando attack has also focused attention on hate crimes against gay men and lesbians in America. The Obama administration has overseen great strides, including the legalisation of lesbian wedding, but, activists note, this can conceal ongoing aggression and racism in many communities. The recent political debate over transgender bathroom utilize is seen as one example that contributes to a hostile climate.

It was reported on Monday that members of Congress plan to ask the White House to end a decades-old policy that prohibits many homosexuals men from donating blood. Senators including Elizabeth Warren have long criticised the rule as discriminatory.

Using the alternative word Isil, Obama recognise the targeting of LGBT people by Islamic State but dedicated little clue of new concrete measures. Regardless of the particular motivations of this murderer, there are the linkages between this vicious, bankrupt ideology and general attitudes of gays and lesbians. And unfortunately, thats something that the LGBT community is subject to not just by Isil but by a lot of groups that purport to speak on behalf of God around the world.

Trump, meanwhile, set himself up as an unlikely champion of the LGBT community. Ask yourself: who is really the friend of women and the LBGT[ sic] community Donald Trump, with his actions, or Hillary Clinton, with her words? Clinton wants to allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country they enslave women, and slaying gays. I dont want them in our country.

But Trumps remarks met with scepticism from homosexual rights activists, who argue that he has vowed to appoint supreme court justices who would roll back nationwide wedding equality.

Jay Brown, communications director of the Human Rights Campaign, said: Lets be clear: LGBTQ people are Muslims.

And induce no mistake, Donald Trump is no friend of the LGBTQ community. Donald Trump has vowed to roll back matrimony equality, pass Kim Davis-style discrimination and allow governors from coast to coast to pass laws like North Carolinas HB2. Trumps rhetoric today isnt fooling anyone and what he is peddling isnt protection. Its poison.

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Two-thirds of Americans subsistence gun restrictions in public places- examine

At least 64% of those surveyed do not support carrying handguns in places such as schools and college campuses, examine discovers as countries move to ease restrictions

Two-thirds of Americans believe that guns should be restricted in many public places, according to a study published under Thursday.

The study, by a group of leading public health researchers, found that at least 64% of those surveyed did not subsistence carrying firearms on college campuses, in places of adore, government houses, schools, bars or sports stadiums. Even among handgun proprietors, a majority did not approve of firearms in bars or in schools. The survey published in the American Journal of Public Health comes as a number of states have passed laws to expand where guns can be carried in public.

Thats an important detecting because it goes against the general trend of what lawmakers are doing, told Julia Wolfson, a professor of public health at the University of Michigan and one of the studys co-authors.

Already in 2017, Arkansas has passed a bill letting handguns on college campuses, in government buildings, and in bars. Georgias governor, Nathan Deal, is considering a proposal that would allow concealed weapons at colleges. And country legislators in New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Iowa have passed so-called constitutional carry bills, eliminating permitting requirements for carrying concealed weapons.

The new findings by researchers at Harvard University, Northeastern University, and Johns Hopkins University are the latest in a situate of studies that are painting the most definitive portrait of American gun ownership in two decades.

The authors asked virtually 4,000 respondents whether they believed people may be able to bring pistols into nine public places: eateries, schools, college campuses, bars, government houses, sports stadiums, retail store, service defines such as barber stores, and places of worship.

Only 9.4% of respondents said they supported permitting firearms in all nine public places. Restaurants, service decideds, and retail stores were the only locatings in which more than 30% of respondents said that people should be allowed to carry firearms.

The survey was conducted online in 2015 on behalf of the academics by GfK, a market research company, as part of a larger inquiry into the habits and attitudes of American gun proprietors. The survey, which oversampled for veterans and gun owneds, asked respondents to specify if they owned a handgun or lives in a household with one.

Support for carrying firearms in public was higher among handgun proprietors than among those who did not own firearms.

A majority of handgun owneds surveyed supported carrying handguns in eateries, service decideds, and retail establishments. But three out of four gun owneds said they did not approve of carrying guns in bars, and two-thirds said they did not feel handguns should be allowed in schools.

The survey found that support for guns in public places did not vary by region of the country. Controlled for gun-owning status, respondents who live in the south, where many countries freely permit carrying guns in public, were no more supportive of the practice than respondents in the north-east, where handgun statutes are generally stricter.

Two of the studys co-authors, Deborah Azrael of Harvard University and Matthew Miller of Northeastern University, conducted a similar survey on stances to guns in public in 1999. Generally, Americans have become more accepting of firearms in public places over the last 18 years: while in 1999 merely 4 % of respondents indicates that they supported guns on college campuses, 22.5% now approve of campus carry.

But the authors point out that the different language utilized could account for that change. The earlier questionnaire asked how respondents would feel about people in your community convey in select public places. The new survey requested information about attitudes toward people who are authorized to carry pistols in your community, which in some states states requires training and acceptance from law enforcement.

Its difficult to account for the growing acceptance of handguns in public, the authors said. Its the $64,000 question, told Azrael. Whats happened in the past 15 years? Many more statutes have made it possible to carry handguns anywhere. More people own handguns than did in the past. It wouldnt surprise me if they also wanted to carry them more places.

In the nearly two decades between the survey results, many nations have attained statutes around carrying handguns in public more permissive. In 2000, seven states had an outright outlaw on carrying concealed weapons in public, and merely Vermont allowed its residents to carry a gun without work permits. Now, all 50 countries allow some kind of concealed carry, and a dozen states have scrapped their permitting requirements for carrying firearms.

And in Congress, lawmakers could soon consider a proposal that would dramatically alter where concealed weapons are allowed in the country. Under legislation filed by congressman Richard Hudson, a North Carolina Republican, states that set high bars for concealed carry licenses would be compelled to welcome armed visitors from any state that recognizes its residents right to disguised carry. As written, the bill would allow someone who lives in a state such as Kansas, with no permitting requirement, to carry a gun in a state like New York, which has very strict standards.

The proposal is the top legislative priority of the National Rifle Association, a leading donor to Donald Trumps campaign.

The political dialogue around guns has been dominated by the handgun vestibule, Wolfson told. Despite that fact, Wolfson added that she and her colleagues were surprised that there was such low is supportive of carrying firearms in public places.

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