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The U.S. and its firearms health crisis

According to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks mass shootings in the U.S., Tuesday’s gruesome school shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school marks more than 200 mass shootings in 2022. The issue of gun violence in America’s new public health crisis.


Before the Uvalde attack, the largest-scale mass shooting this year happened two weeks ago when 10 Black shoppers were shot and killed during a racist attack at a Buffalo, New York supermarket. Now 19 children and two adults meet the same fate at Robb Elementary School.

Today is the 147th day of the year and there have been approximately 213 mass shootings in the country. This averages out to about 10 a week.

Such shootings are becoming an American phenomenon. Around this time last year, the U.S. had experienced a similar number of mass shootings: also about 10 a week. The country ended 2021 with 693 mass shootings, per the Gun Violence Archive. The year before saw 611. And 2019 had 417.

In a country where firearms are easily bought and sold and laws vary by state, 2020 saw 19,350 shooting murders, a historic high - 35% more than in 2019. There were 24,245 suicides - 1.5% more than in 2019 - according to statistics compiled by US health authorities.

The homicide rate reached 6.1 per 100,000 residents in 2020, a 25-year record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a report published this month, though the toll was still not as high as the peak of the 1980s.

Casualties?

Here are some numbers: Five months into 2022, more than 17,000 people, including 650 children, have been shot and killed in the United States. Nearly 41,000 people are killed by gun violence every year in the United States on average, according to the organisation Everytown for Gun Safety, translating to 111 victims every day.

In Texas, where the sale of personal firearms is only marginally regulated, an average of more than 3,600 people are killed by guns every year, according to Everytown. Since the beginning of 2022, at least 17,199 people have been killed by guns, according to a count by the Gun Violence Archive.

About 7,600 of them were victims of homicide, either purposeful or accidental, and more than 9,500 died by suicide. In 2021, more than 45,000 gun deaths were recorded, including 20,920 murders - the highest since 2017, when around 58,000 people were killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Shootings also leave other casualties - in the last six months, some 14,000 people have been wounded by a gun.

The right to bear arms is guaranteed in the second amendment of the US Constitution, and the number of pistols, revolvers and other gun types has increased in recent years which in turn has resulted in increased fatality rates and has cost numerous innocent lives.


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