The mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, this week threw a community into shock and mourning, leading families of the victims to question, “Why the children?”

Less that two weeks earlier, mourners in Buffalo and elsewhere struggled to understand why elderly Black grocery store shoppers were gunned down while buying strawberries. Fellow Americans – and people around the world – have also looked on with stunned disbelief.

So far, there are no satisfactory answers for why mass shootings continue in America – and how they can be stopped.

The whys, hows and what-ifs of these and many more tragedies followed me – and I am sure many others parents across the country – while dropping off my 3-year-old daughter at school this morning.

But the surge in public support for gun regulations following previous shootings has not led Congress to pass new laws. Most of the changes happen, if at all, at the state level, writes Christopher Poliquin, an assistant professor of strategy at UCLA, who reviewed legislative activity in the wake of mass shootings between 1990 and 2014.

“Republican state legislatures pass significantly more gun laws that loosen restrictions on firearms after mass shootings," Poloquin explains. "Our research shows … that Democrats don’t tighten gun laws more than usual following mass shootings.”

Amy Lieberman

Politics + Society Editor

A girl cries outside the Willie de Leon Civic Center in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images

After mass shootings like Uvalde, national gun control fails – but states often loosen gun laws

Christopher Poliquin, University of California, Los Angeles

After mass shootings, politicians in Washington have failed to pass new gun control legislation, despite public pressure. But laws are being passed at the state level, largely to loosen restrictions.

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner before a WNBA game in 2015. Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After initial silence, the Biden administration is making moves to free WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian detention

Rokeshia Renné Ashley, Florida International University

At 6 feet, 8 inches tall, Brittney Griner has become an international basketball star. She is now locked up in a Russian prison after what US officials describe as “wrongfully detained.”

Pondering a shift in strategy on Taiwan? Possibly not. Nicolas Datiche/Getty Images

Biden on Taiwan: Did he really commit US forces to stopping any invasion by China? An expert explains why, on balance, probably not

Meredith Oyen, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Biden’s suggestion that the US is prepared to intervene militarily if Taiwan was invaded was quickly walked back by White House officials.

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