Mass Shooting Epidemic in the United States Continues to Worsen throughout 2023

Lewiston, Maine – The United States has experienced 650 mass shootings in 2023, an average of about two per day. This marks the second-highest number of mass shootings since the Gun Violence Archive began collecting data in 2014.

The Gun Violence Archive (GVA) collects data from local newspapers and police departments to create a national database on gun violence. It defines mass shootings as incidents in which at least four people are injured or killed in a single incident, not including the perpetrator. Only 2021 had a higher final number, with 690 mass shootings recorded.

One of the deadliest shootings in the US occurred in Lewiston, Maine, where 18 people were killed. The perpetrator, Robert Card, was an Army reservist who suffered from mental problems and later took his own life after a three-day manhunt.

The root of the issue lies in the fact that there are more firearms than people in the US. According to the Swiss research organization Small Arms Survey, there are approximately 120.5 firearms per 100 residents, with an estimated total of 390 million firearms in circulation as of 2018.

The problem has worsened in recent years, particularly during the pandemic. The Giffords organization, founded by former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was wounded in a 2011 shooting, emphasized the increase in gun purchases during the pandemic, leading to more US households owning guns compared to previous years.

Efforts to reform gun control laws often follow brutal mass shootings, but meaningful change remains elusive. Despite President Joe Biden’s calls for a new ban on assault rifles, the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) has continually opposed any legislation to tighten gun control.

In conclusion, the high number of mass shootings in the US—650 in 2023 alone—underscores the ongoing issue of gun violence in the country, with no clear solution in sight. This remains a deeply divisive and challenging issue for policymakers and the public alike.