This Wednesday, a reserve soldier killed at least 16 people in two mass shootings in Maine and is on the run. In May, a young neo-Nazi shot and killed eight people with an AR-15 rifle and seven other weapons before being killed in a Texas shopping center. In March, a gunman with assault weapons killed six people, including three children, at an elementary school in Nashville. On January 17, all members of a family were murdered—including a 6-month-old baby, his 17-year-old mother, and a 72-year-old woman—in Goshen, California. Five days later, at the celebration of the Chinese New Year, another man, 72, killed 12 people in Monterrey Park, also in California. There are only five headlines of five mass shootings that the US has suffered since the beginning of the bloodiest year to date in the last 10 years.
As data from the Gun Violence Archive shows, from January to October, 601 people have died in mass shootings and nearly 2,400 people have been injured. There are 20 more deaths than in the same period in 2021, so far the deadliest year in the country’s history.
The data is devastating. Since 2014, nearly 5,000 people have died in these types of attacks and almost 20,000 have been injured. The number has also been growing unstoppably in recent years: of the total number of deaths, 50% have occurred since 2020; while of the injured, 54% of them have been registered since the beginning of the pandemic until today.
Of the ten months of 2023, four of them—January (with 89), February (46), April (64) and May (80)—recorded the highest number of deaths in mass shootings in the last decade. In total, 601 massacres that place the 10 months of this year as those with the most episodes recorded. And, with two months left, the third counting from January to December.
Congress, unable to ban even assault weapons
The debate over firearms control is an open wound in the United States that seems to have no cure. The United States Congress has not even been able to prohibit the civilian sale of the AR-15 assault rifle, the one most frequently used in these massacres. It doesn’t matter that the majority of the population, despite its broad and strong attachment to firearms, defends such a ban.