Mass shootings in the USA
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|Massacres in schools and churches
will not change America’s gun culture
Latest research and reports
from US cities and states
3 December 2018: Deadly shootings in schools, churches or shopping malls do not deter Americans from buying and owning guns. Research by the Pew Research Center, conducted in 2017, reveals that some 30 per cent of American adults own at least one gun, with another 11 per cent living with someone who does.
According to Pew, gun ownership is more common among men than women, and white men are particularly likely to be gun owners. Among those living in rural areas, 46 per cent say they are gun owners, compared with 28 per cent of those who live in the suburbs and 19 per cent in urban areas. There are also significant differences across parties, with Republican and Republican-leaning independents more than twice as likely as Democrats and those who lean Democratic to say they own a gun (44% vs. 20%).
Gun ownership is particularly strong among white men who did not go to college. The Pew researchers found that about three-in-ten adults with a high school diploma or less say they own a gun, while only a quarter of those with a bachelor’s degree or more say the same.
America’s gun culture will not change. Since America did nothing after 20 primary school children and six adults were massacred at Sandy Hook (Connecticut) in December 2012, there is little hope that this year’s mass killings will change the country’s fascination with guns or its quasi-religious belief in the US Constitution’s Second Amendment. On 14 February 2018, 17 students were shot dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida by a 19-year old teenager, using the same type of gun that was used at Sandy Hook, while on 18 May 2018, a 17-year old student shot dead 10 people and wounded 13 others at Santa Fe High School (Houston) Texas. In October 2018, 11 synagogue goers were shot dead in Pittsburgh, PA.
Between 1 January 2018 and the end of November, some 13,400 people were killed by guns in the US. The number of 12 to 17 year old teenagers shot dead or injured stood at 2,600, while 324 mass shootings occurred. The states with the highest ratio of mass shooting incidents include Washington DC, Alabama and Illinois.
America’s deadliest mass shooting this century occurred in October 2017 in Las Vegas where a lone gunman opened fire on concertgoers, killing 58 and injuring more than 500.
August 2019 update: On 3 August 2019, 20 people were killed and 27 injured in a mass shooting in a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas. On 4 August 2019, a gun man killed nine people in a bar in Dayton, Ohio.
Deadliest mass shootings
in the US this century
America is in a league of its own when it comes to school shootings. Since 2009, there have been some 288 such incidents in the US. During the same period, Canada and France reported two school shootings each and Germany one. None occurred in the other three G7-countries, Japan, Italy and the UK.
Between 1 January 2018 the end of November, some 13,400 people were killed by guns in the US. The number of 12 to 17 year old teenagers shot dead or injured stood at 2,600, while 324 mass shootings occurred. The states with the highest ratio of mass shooting incidents include Washington DC, Alabama and Illinois. Across the US, there have been almost one mass shooting per one million people in 2018.
US states with the highest ration of mass shootings
(per one million people, by 18 November 2018)
There have been very few suggestions to re-write the Second Amendment, which supposedly guarantees every American citizen the right to keep and bear arms: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” While in most cases before it, the US Supreme Court sided with the gun lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment, some scholars argue that its authors meant to say that citizens had the right to form and join armed militias to defend themselves against enemies.
By the middle of November 2018, some 314 mass shootings were reported in the US. The states with the highest number of incidents include Illinois (35), California (32), and Florida (27). Cities with the highest number of mass shootings are Chicago (28), Philadelphia (9), Saint Louis (8), Memphis (8) and New Orleans (7).
Mass shootings in US states
(from 1 January 2018 to 18 November 2018)
Mass shootings in selected US cities
(from 1 January 2018 to 18 November)
Source of raw data: Gun Violence Archive (GVA). Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 1,200 media, government and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. Gun Violence Archive (GVA) is a not-for-profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States. GVA collects and checks for accuracy, comprehensive information about gun-related violence in the US. Additional raw data was obtained from Pew Research, CNN and other sources.
• Mass shootings are defined as shooting incidents of four or more killed or injured, not including the shooter(s).
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