On Tuesday, an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 21 people, including 19 children.
Earlier this month, a different 18-year-old man dressed in tactical gear and livestreaming on
fatally shot 10 people in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in what authorities described as a racially motivated mass shooting.,
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a Wednesday press conference suggested that mental health concerns are in part, responsible for the rise in mass shootings over the past few decades, but scientific research doesn’t support those claims. Experts have repeatedly shown that mental-health issues are not predictive of violence.
What science has demonstrated, however, is that the number of gun deaths in the US is much higher than in other nations with similar rates of gun ownership (like Switzerland), and that certain policies can help prevent these fatalities. Studies have linked stricter background checks, rules prohibiting domestic abusers from owning weapons, and secure locks on firearms in the home with decreased rates of gun-related deaths.
Here’s what the data shows.