Holidays marred with violence; US mass shootings hit new record highs
According to The Independent, every day, at least one act of gun violence occurs in the United States, a bloody reminder of the country's rate of mass violence.
According to The Independent, more than 75 people were shot and 11 were killed in almost a dozen mass shootings around the country before the end of the holiday weekend, exacerbating an already rapid rate of major mass shootings in the country this year.
In the first half of 2023, 346 mass shootings took place, with one mass shooting per day on average.
Washington DC's Metropolitan Police Department confirmed on Wednesday that nine people, including two minors, were wounded in a mass shooting during Fourth of July celebrations.
Each year, #Americans celebrate the 4th of July with massive fireworks shows all over the states to commemorate their independence from #Britain. Little do they know the toll these fireworks have on their health and the environment.#4thofJuly pic.twitter.com/itrjHXtuH2— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) July 4, 2023
Multiple mass shootings took place during yesterday's celebrations.
Forth Worth, Texas, also witnessed a shooting that left at least three dead, and in Philadelphia five were killed.
A gunman killed 2 and injured 28 others including children in Baltimore during a block party on July 2nd.
The US is facing a gun violence epidemic and has so far failed to prevent the ongoing slaughter of its citizens.
The number of US children and teens killed by gunfire witnessed a drastic increase between 2019 and 2021, a publication by Pew Research Center revealed.
The number of children and teens killed rose by 50% in a two-year period, and more children were killed in 2021 than in any year since 1999.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, as of July 4, more than 21,000 people in the US died from gun violence, including suicide, which accounts for the majority of gun deaths each year. So far this year, gun violence has harmed 19,000 individuals.
US schools have not been spared from the violence, with most instances occurring at universities and elementary schools. The mass shooting at Michigan State University in February left 3 dead and 5 wounded. A school in Nashville in March saw a gunman kill 6, of whom 3 were children.
As a sign that can only be understood as complete carelessness, the US justice system still allows concealed guns in public in some capacity in every single state with more than half of the states allowing concealed handguns without a permit or background check.
State officials have pushed to outlaw assault rifles and high-capacity magazines like the one used in most mass shootings, however, assault weapons like AR-style rifles are still freely available across the country, despite President Joe Biden's repeated calls for a federal prohibition and strong support among Democratic members of Congress.
However, with Republicans in the House of Representatives dearly holding on to their second amendment rights, it is unlikely that the US will ever see tighter gun laws.
The US President stated after the violence during the 4th of July weekend that “much more must be done in Illinois and across America to address the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing our communities apart,” adding that “it is within our power to once again ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, to require safe storage of guns, to end gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and to enact universal background checks."
Biden urged other states to follow the lead of Illinois and "continue to call upon Republican lawmakers in Congress to come to the table on meaningful, commonsense reforms that the American people support.”
Last June, the US Supreme Court ruled that American citizens have the fundamental right to carry arms in public. The Supreme Court is scheduled to consider another second amendment case in the near future. The court will hear arguments in a case about whether domestic violence offenders can own firearms.