The number of gun deaths in the U.S. since the Newtown elementary school massacre has exceeded the total number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war.
According to a tally of gun deaths from Slate, the number of people killed since the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary is now 4,499. The number of U.S. armed forces killed during the Iraq war was 4,409, according to the Defense Department.
The Slate data comes from crowdsourcing and warns that it is “necessarily incomplete.” Authors of the tally call on readers to submit news stories to @GunDeaths.
This comparison of the five months since the tragedy that redefined the debate for further gun control in this country and the nine-year conflict the U.S. has recently ended is now being used by Americans United for Change, a progressive political group. Already, the group has targeted several Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to support background checks, among other gun-control measures.
Republicans successfully stalled gun-control legislation, arguing that further measures would not prevent gun violence but merely stifle the Second Amendment rights of lawful Americans. But Democratic lawmakers and progressive groups have signaled that they will continue this fight.