US has had more than 300 mass shootings this year alone
- July 6, 2022
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Number of mass shootings has grown in the United States. On Monday, a man opened fire on the crowd at a parade celebrating the country’s independence.
At least six people were killed and 20 injured in the United States after a man shot into a crowd at the July 4th parade. The episode in a Chicago suburb is one more on the list of tragedies that have marked the country this year.
The United States had over 308 mass shootings recorded in 2022according to figures from the Gun Violence Archive, which maps the cases.
The bombings have killed more than 330 people and injured more than 1,300 so far, with at least one mass attack a week.
To be classified as a mass attack, the incident must have left at least four people dead or injured, in the Gun Violence Archive’s discretion. That is, there are still other cases, with victims, but that do not enter the more than 300 records of the year.
In the same month on American soil, there are more days with mass attacks than without, according to the history of the episodes.
This 4th of July alone, in addition to the attack on the parade in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, at least two more episodes were recorded, both without deaths (one in another location in Chicago itself, with five injured, and another in Richmond, in Virginia, with six wounded).
Earlier this year, an attack on a school in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 children and two teachers dead in June. The tragedy, mostly involving 10-year-olds, has reopened the debate over access to guns in the US.
Two weeks later, another shooting made headlines after a man opened fire on a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, leaving four dead. Both shooters then died.
History of gun violence in the US
The US has lived with shootings for decades. In general, a so-called “lone wolf”, an American citizen, with psychological problems and easy access to high-caliber weapons, opens fire on a public space or full of citizens present. A school, a show, a trade: all are potential places of risk. In the sum of the last decade, there were more than 1,300 deaths in attacks of this type.
But even for this history, authorities point out that the total number of attacks has grown. The number of mass attacks in the first five months of the year more than doubled compared to the same period eight years ago in 2014.
Although violence and the action of criminals is common throughout the world — including in countries like Brazil, with a high homicide rate — the disparity between the US and other developed countries is noteworthy.
THE US gun homicide rate is more than 25 times that of any other high-income countryaccording to data collected in public databases and studies by the organization GunPolicy.org, a project of the School of Public Health in Sydney, Australia.
The death rate from guns in the US is 12 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants. In the UK it is less than 0.20. In Germany around 1.0 and in France around 2.5. The US also has more guns than people, a higher rate than any other rich country in the world.
The disparity with other rich countries is often mentioned by politicians and activists who advocate greater control over arms sales among Americans. The Australian case, which tightened laws after attacks (and saw the number of murders decrease), is one example.
Political dispute over weapons
US President Joe Biden has repeatedly called the American situation “carnage”. Biden advocates that Congress pass stricter laws, especially for the purchase of high-caliber weapons by ordinary citizens, such as rifles, often used in this type of massacre.
“Why in the name of God could an ordinary citizen buy an assault weapon with 30-round magazines that allows mass shooters to fire hundreds of bullets in a matter of minutes?” he said.
The right to purchase weapons is in the second amendment of the US Constitution, which makes the issue sensitive in the US. In the polarized debate on weapons in the country, some points are defended by the majority of the population, from the right to the left, such as greater control of the background of those who buy weapons. The biggest restriction on access to rifles, however, is a more contentious debate. In general, more progressive states have stricter laws on the subject, but passing national legislation that restricts access nationally is seen as more difficult.