Approximately once each week so far this year, the U.S. has been recreating the atrocity, setting a record for mass killing in 2023. Over the course of 111 days, the bloodshed claimed 88 lives in 17 mass murders. The murderers always used weapons. Only 2009 experienced as many of these disasters in the same time frame.
Elementary School On Target
Children at a Nashville elementary school were shot and killed on a regular Monday. Northern California farmworkers were shot over a workplace vendetta. Dancers were murdered while celebrating the Lunar New Year at a ballroom outside of Los Angeles.
In the past week alone, shots poured down on a Sweet 16 celebration in Dadeville, Alabama, killing four partygoers and injuring 32 others. And in Bowdoin, Maine, a recently released prisoner shot and killed four people, including his parents, before turning the gun on drivers on a busy motorway.
“Nobody should be shocked,” declared Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was one of the 17 people slain at a Parkland, Florida, high school in 2018. In a cemetery, I pay my daughter a visit. Not even outrage can begin to capture how I feel.
A database created by The Associated Press in collaboration with Northeastern University lists the 2,842 victims of mass shootings in the United States since 2006, including the Parkland fatalities. It counts killings with four or more fatalities, excluding the offender, using the same standard as the FBI, and tracks a variety of data for each.
The slaughter reflects only a small portion of the lethal violence that occurs in the United States each year. Despite this, mass killings are occurring at an alarming rate this year, with one occurring every 6.53 days, according to an analysis of AP/USA Today statistics.
Ban On Semi Automatic Weapons
When the 2023 figures are compared to the totals for full-year totals since data collection began, they stand out even more. In more than half of the years in the database, the United States had 30 or fewer mass killings, so being at 17 less than a third of the way through is exceptional.
From coast to coast, the violence is motivated by a variety of factors. Murder-suicides and marital violence; gang revenge; school shootings and vendettas in the workplace. Since January 1, all have claimed the lives of four or more persons at the same time.
Nonetheless, the violence persists, and hurdles to change remain. The chance of Congress imposing a ban on semi-automatic weapons is remote, and the United States Supreme Court last year established new rules for examining the nation’s gun laws, bringing firearms prohibitions across the country into question.