On October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500. Then, on November 5 of that year, another shooter killed 26 people worshipping at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A week later, another man killed at least four at a California elementary school and other locations around Rancho Tehama, leaving at least 10 people injured.
The shootings have continued in 2018 and 2019. On February 14, 2018, a 19-year-old killed 17 people with a semiautomatic rifle at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Most recently, on August 3, 2019, 22 people were killed in a racially motivated shooting in an El Paso Walmart. These events continue to spark a national debate about the need to change gun laws and the role the gun lobby plays in thwarting any policy change.
While politicians continue to offer their “thoughts and prayers,” American Oversight is seeking to shed light on what steps — if any — state and federal officials are taking to address gun violence in the wake of recent tragedies and to expose how the gun lobby and organizations like the National Rifle Association are influencing policy behind closed doors.