Thursday marks the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adults, many of whom were first-grade students and staffers at the school, lost their lives.
There have been 1,576 instances of gun violence since that horrific event. In them, at least 1,788 people were killed, and 6,333 people were wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks firearm violence in the U.S. and began doing so after Newtown. That list also includes 104 times guns have been fired at students and teachers since Dec. 14, 2012, according to Yahoo News.
And since Sandy Hook there have been two shootings that were deadlier: the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016, and the Las Vegas shooting this October. They claimed 50 and 59 lives, respectively, and Las Vegas is now the deadliest mass shooting on record in U.S. history.
Of course, Canada isn’t without its own mass shootings and gun violence. Since Sandy Hook, there have been mass shootings in Moncton, La Loche, Sask., and this year’s massacre at a Quebec City mosque.
Gun control advocates often tout Canada’s firearms regulations and legislation as the reason Canada’s mass shootings are lower than the United States. But is that really the case?
Just before this year’s Montreal Massacre anniversary, Ecole Polytechnique shooting survivor Heidi Rathjen and Meaghan Hennigan, who was one of 19 injured in the Dawson College shooting, called on the federal government to do more when it comes to assault weapons.
“In fact, most Canadians would be shocked to learn that most of the guns used in recent shootings in the United States are available for private ownership in Canada,” Hennigan said at a Nov. 30 news conference, according to CBC News.
“Many assault weapons are unrestricted. It’s ridiculously messed up. These are the kind of weapons that an individual can seriously injure about 50 people in a mere matter of minutes.”
The shooter at Dawson College used a CX4 Storm semi-automatic weapon, which was a restricted gun at the time, according to Global News, but Hennigan said “because the killer was a member of the gun club, he could own one – despite behavior that deemed him unsuitable for military service.” Hennigan also said since the 2006 shooting, the CX4 Storm’s manufacturer has released a new model, which isn’t restricted in Canada.
Do you think Canada is actually safer than the U.S. when it comes to gun violence? Let us know by voting in the poll above and leave your thoughts in the comments below.