The FBI says gun dealers submitted the names of almost half-a-million customers in the six days before Christmas, with December on its way surpassing November, which had a record tally of 1,534,414 names submitted for background checks for criminal convictions and mental health issues, says the New York Times. Only a little more than 1 percent of buyers are typically rejected by federally licensed gun dealers.
In an editorial, the newspaper calls the sales data “particularly grim” given the Jan. 8 anniversary of the shooting rampage in Tucson that left Representative Gabrielle Giffords gravely shot the head, six people dead, including a federal judge, and 13 others wounded. No action has been taken since to ban the 33-round assault clips that enabled the shooter to attack a crowd in an instant, improvements in the federal background check system and to have more states track and prevent individuals with histories of mental illness — like the shooter in Tucson — from acquiring guns. The year is about to end with another 100,000 people shot or killed with a gun. The Times argues that political leaders “should be treating the annual gun death toll as a serious public health and moral problem.” The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is planning protest candlelight vigils for Jan. 8.