A series of murders over the weekend have propelled the United States to a grisly new record: the most recorded mass shootings in a year.
Two attacks on Sunday occurring within a couple of hours of each other in Texas and Washington state were the year’s 37th and 38th mass shootings. Authorities believe a murder-suicide was responsible for the death of five family members in Vancouver, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, just across the border in Washington, while in Dallas a 21-year-old with a previous aggravated assault charge shot five people in a house, including a toddler.
It is the highest number of mass shootings in any year since at least 2006, breaking the previous record of 36, reached last year.
Another attack occurred on Sunday in New York City, when a 38-year-old man stabbed four of his relatives – including two children – as well as another woman and two police officers before they shot him. That was the country’s 41st mass killing of 2023, according to an Associated Press database.
At least 203 people have died this year in mass killings, defined as incidents in which four or more people have died, not including the killer. The FBI uses a similar definition.
Despite the media attention they attract, most mass shootings do not happen in public spaces, with at least 26 of this year’s 38 happening in private homes or shelters, according to the Washington Post.
Different groups count mass shootings and killings in different ways. Some, such as the Gun Violence Archive, include events in which multiple people are shot regardless of number of deaths, and so report much higher figures. Its tally for the year is 630 mass shootings.
Mass shooting deaths dropped in 2020 during the Covid pandemic to 21, but have since rebounded to a new record.
The Fourth of July long weekend was overshadowed by 16 shootings in which 15 people were killed and nearly 100 injured.
But the deadliest attack of 2023 happened in Lewiston, Maine, on 25 October when an army reservist murdered 18 people in a bowling alley and a bar. Previously the year’s worst attack had been in January when a man shot 11 people in Monterey Park, California, with a semi-automatic rifle during a Lunar New Year celebration.
Source : The Guardian