To go along with the shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and four others at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia – a teenager was killed by an apparently accidental shotgun blast in Oklahoma and a 41 year old woman was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in a bedroom in Texas.
They were among the at least 30 who were shot in the United States on Wednesday alone, according to the nonpartisan Gun Violence Archive, which relies on local news sources to track shooting incidents in near real time.
The Alexandria shooting wasn’t even the only mass shooting on Wednesday. A gunman killed three people and injured two others at a UPS facility in San Francisco before killing himself.
This shocking Wednesday remarkably even pales in comparison to the day before where the Gun Violence Archive counted more than 70 incidents of gun violence in the United States. And the day before that saw more than 100 incidents.
“Since the start of this baseball season, approximately 3,120 people have been killed with guns in this country” https://t.co/gEIn5LYEgY
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 15, 2017
Gun law debate
The very public shooting of the congressman has brought outrage and horror across America, but it is a stark reminder of the challenge that America faces in the long battle over gun rights.
So far in 2017, there have been more than 27,000 shootings, in which nearly 7,000 people have died. (These numbers don’t include gun-related suicides, which account for two-thirds of the more than 33,000 gun deaths in the United States each year.)
“Today’s shootings remind us that the plague of gun violence is not confined to one demographic or set of Americans. It affects all of us,” Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a national gun control advocacy group, said in a statement following the Alexandria and San Francisco shootings.
“Whether the victim is a child walking in her neighborhood, an employee at a UPS facility, or the majority whip of the United States Congress, no one is immune. More than 90 individuals die from gun violence in the United States every single day.”
We must channel camaraderie around this moment into a bipartisan conversation about reducing gun violence in America.
It’ll save lives
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) June 14, 2017
While it is true that anybody can be hit by a bullet, certain groups are much more likely to become embroiled in gunfire. Half of all gun homicide victims in this country are men between the ages of 15 and 34; two-thirds of those victims are black.
In 2015, half of U.S. gun homicides were clustered in just 127 cities and towns, such as St. Louis, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland. Those cities’ poorest neighborhoods are hit especially hard by gun violence.
“When is it gonna stop? When is it gonna stop?” asked the niece of a 45-year-old man gunned down early Wednesday morning in Chicago, just half a block from the yellow crime scene tape that cordoned off her uncle’s body. “All these innocent babies – my uncle didn’t do nothing.”
More than 150 mass shootings this year. Gun violence is an epidemic and we must come together to end it. My prayers go out to those harmed.
— Christian Navarro (@ChristianLN0821) June 14, 2017
The attack on Wednesday is also during a week that already contains two American anniversaries of mass gun violence. Monday was the anniversary of the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and this Saturday will mark two years since nine churchgoers were shot to death at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina.