By Caroline Fisher
The elementary school mass shooting in Uvalde Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers has stoked the flames yet again of one of the country’s most pressing issues: gun violence. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit advocacy organization against gun violence, “Every day, more than 110 Americans are killed with guns and more than 200 are shot and wounded.”
This leaves many Americans questioning the adequacy of the gun policies that states have in place and wondering whether or not our representatives are doing what’s best for those vulnerable to gun violence.
As illustrated in the graphic above, one in every four victims of mass shootings are children or teenagers, and the U.S. has a 26-times higher rate of mass shootings than other high-income countries. And Illinois ranks fourth among states in mass shootings since 2009.
“Whether a state has a large capacity ammunition magazine ban is the single best predictor of the mass shooting rate in that state,” said Michael Siegel, a community health science professor at Boston University.
High-capacity magazines, which allow a gunman to fire more shots before having to stop and reload, result in five times as many people wounded in mass shootings where they are used. These ammunition-feeding devices were used in many of the country’s most devastating mass shootings, including the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.
States with large capacity ammunition bans are associated with a 63% lower mass shooting rate than states without them, according to Siegel.