Sunday (Dec. 14) marks the two-year anniversary of the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 children, 6 adult staff members as well as his mother before taking his own life.
The December 14, 2012, incident -- the deadliest mass shooting at a grade school or high school in U.S. history -- shocked the nation and resulted in renewed calls for gun control and a universal background check for gun buyers. But, two years later, has anything really changed since Sandy Hook?
According to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety organization: not really. In the 24 months since the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting, a study from the organization found that there have been nearly 100 school shootings and that the culture of lockdowns are the new reality in American classrooms.
Everytown has logged every time a firearm has been discharged inside a school building on campus grounds in the 2 years since Sandy Hook, counting at least 94 incidents in 33 states that include fatal and nonfatal assaults, suicides and unintentional shootings. That's an average of nearly one a week.
A few key facts from the Everytown report:
>> Of the K-12 shootings in which the shooter's age was known, 70 percent were perpetrated by minors, with nearly two-thirds of the shooters obtaining their guns from home.
>> 52% of the 94 shootings took place at K-12 schools and 48% were on college or university campuses.
>> The shootings resulted in 45 deaths and 78 non-fatal gunshot injuries. In 32% of these incidents, at least one person died.
>> In 65 incidents (68%), the perpetrator(s) intentionally injured or killed another person with a gun. Of those, 23 incidents resulted in at least one homicide.
>> Over the last two years, an average of two school shootings took place at K-12 schools each month.
The NRA suggested posting armed guards at schools after Sandy Hook. Where we on that idea?
Two weeks after Sandy Hook, National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre issued a statement in which he called out violent video game and filmmakers for glorifying violence, suggesting that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
LaPierre then suggested it was time to implement a plan he'd called for in the past: armed security guards in all of our nation's schools.
What's happened since: A spokesperson for the NRA did not return calls for comment.
One survivor's daughter changed her whole life after Sandy Hook turned her into an "accidental activist."
Ashley Cech's mother, Yvonne, was a hero two years ago. When the school went into lockdown and she couldn't secure the library door, Yvonne gathered her 4th-graders and hid them in a closet, then barricaded the door. A librarian at Sandy Hook since 2005, Yvonne and her fellow staff members were unhurt in the shooting at the "warm and happy place" where daughter Ashley, 22, had volunteered all through high school and college.
What's happened since: "The fact that something like this could happen in a town like that was a call to action," Ashley told MTV News this week. "It completely changed not only my family but every family in Newtown." Cech started working for Everytown as an intern just four days after graduating from NYU last May and now has a permanent position on the survivor outreach team. "We work with family members and victims of gun violence and connect them with people who've been through the same experiences," she said.
Yvonne Cech retired from teaching two weeks ago and is now managing a public library in a nearby town and working with the gun violence prevention group Sandy Hook Educators 4 Gun Sense.
A group of moms has banded together to take unprecedented action against gun violence and now they're trying to make history again.
In the wake of the shootings, the grassroots organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America rose up and campaigned for new and stronger gun laws and the closing of loopholes that might jeopardize children. "The reality is that the Congress we had the day before Sandy Hook is the same one we had after and to think everything would change overnight was not realistic," Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, told MTV News.
What's happened since: The organization now has a chapter in every state and helped compile the Everytown report on school shootings. Chapters have organized events in more than 90 cities across the country this month to discuss ways to help prevent gun violence in 2015.
Watts' group encouraged an unprecedented 1 million Americans to vote on gun safety issues in the recent mid-term election, a grassroots effort on that issue that has never been seen in this country before. And now, every day, in every state, moms and women are going to their state houses and pushing back against gun bills they are against (like allowing alcohol sales at gun shows) and supporting ones they think are helpful (like keeping guns off college campuses).
Have we learned anything else about shooter Adam Lanza since Sandy Hook, or any explanation for why he did what he did?
Following the shooting, more information emerged about Lanza, but, frustratingly, little suggesting a possible motive. Lanza briefly attended Sandy Hook and was known to suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, a sensory integration disorder that made loud sounds and bright lights painful, in addition to Asperger's Syndrome, an autism-related disorder that can make social interactions difficult (but is not, medical experts stressed, associated with violent behavior or a mental disorder.)
A study released a year after the incident showed that Lanza had no history of violent behavior, but was interested in mass murders and that his mother -- who he mostly communicated with via e-mail despite sharing her house -- often took him to the gun range in an attempt to give him some social interactions. The report suggested that improving mental health care to those suffering from chronic mental illness could be an important part in reducing certain kinds of violence.
What's happened since: The school has been razed and there is now a plan to rebuild it in a different location. Responses to a recent survey from the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation -- which has received more than $11 million in donations -- mostly suggested using the money for mental health counseling and other family expenses, though a small percentage voted to use some of the money to buy and raze the Lanza home.