For decades, Americans across the country have implored Congress to pass common sense gun law reform in hopes of stemming the onslaught of gun violence and death that's become a uniquely American badge of dishonor.
Seventy-three percent of homicides in the United States are committed with guns. A 2018 Small Arms Survey found that the United States has more than 120 firearms per 100 residents. Even with the pandemic bringing everyday life to a standstill, nearly 20 thousand people died of gun violence in the United States last year.
But pro-gun lobbies like the National Rifle Association make for some of the largest campaign donors to Republican lawmakers, and Republicans have been largely successful at telling their base that even a modicum of gun law reform—such as limiting high capacity magazines or expanding the time allotted for background checks—is a violation of the Second Amendment.
As a result, daily life in the United States is peppered with news of mass shootings and new gun fatalities.
Such was the case in Tennessee on Monday. Details are still emerging, but we know that one student was killed and an officer injured after a student opened fire at Knoxville's Austin East High School.
One local news anchor was covering the incident, believing footage of a police helicopter to be pre-taped—until she learned the footage was live, and that there'd been another shooting a short distance away from the school.
Local news anchor confuses live shots because they are currently covering two shootings in Tennessee. https://t.co/hCKUv9GkDV— The Recount (@The Recount)1618264014.0
The anchor said:
"I forgot about the other shooting. This is actually live, this is not our taped footage from Austin-East High School earlier. The Knox County Sheriff's Office has got their helicopter back in the air because again, we do have that other shooting investigation now underway about a mile away from the High School."
The short clip said a lot about the United States.
There's no better tagline to America than "I forgot about the other shooting" https://t.co/sBJMlaCayt— Zack Bornstein (@Zack Bornstein)1618277595.0
America in a nutshell https://t.co/zQj5imLUMx— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1618264245.0
tell me you live in america without telling me you live in america https://t.co/HgQ6sw9Nav— chase. (@chase.)1618264206.0
“I forgot about the other shooting” the most American thing you can say https://t.co/hV8biwSyWr— Melissa Stetten (@Melissa Stetten)1618268028.0
this peak United States in 2021 "i forgot about the other shooting" https://t.co/wEygytO1XS— Margaret Elisabeth🌻 #BDS #BLM (@Margaret Elisabeth🌻 #BDS #BLM)1618323302.0
United States of America summed up in 22 seconds. https://t.co/BGiGX7mtLZ— AB (@AB)1618265980.0
People once again begged for something to be done.
Maybe....just maybe....GOP should stop blocking stronger gun laws. Free idea. https://t.co/XXvRtlUOie— Jesse Ferguson (@Jesse Ferguson)1618279181.0
We shouldn't have to live like this. Get involved in the movement to #EndGunViolence: Text ACT to 644-33. https://t.co/mNzYLLsHHa— Everytown (@Everytown)1618267861.0
@therecount @Acyn Here's a radical idea. Regulate gun ownership and use.— Tomás O'Loughlin (@Tomás O'Loughlin)1618264508.0
The shootings—one of at least four that occurred in Tennessee alone that day—came less than a week after its Republican Governor, Bill Lee, signed into law a bill allowing most adults to openly or conceal carry handguns without a permit or training—a term he described as "constitutional carry."