While the overall crime rate in U.S. cities has been trending down over the last couple of decades, the United States far outstrips other developed nations in the number of deaths resulting from gun violence. Mass shootings, such as those seen over a recent two-day span in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, have become a nearly daily occurrence, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Since 2013, there has been a total of 1,855 mass shootings in the U.S., with 108 incidents in Texas alone. Over the past three years, according to research, there has been nearly one mass shooting incident per day in the United States. In 2016, a leap year, there were more U.S. mass shootings, 382, than there were days in the year. As of September 20th, there have been 263 days in 2018 and 262 mass shootings in this year alone.
Among researchers, there is some disagreement as to what constitutes a mass shooting. Some disregard certain types of incidents, such as domestic violence or gang-related shootings. According to some organizations, the shooter must kill four or more people (excluding himself or herself) in order for the incident to count as a mass shooting, but the Gun Violence Archive counts an incident as a mass shooting if the shooter injures at least four people, even if they survive the injury.
Gun violence in the United States is not confined to mass shootings, however. Accidents, homicides and suicides contributed to the United States’ 2016 gun death rate of 10.6 per 100,000 people, compared to Australia’s rate of 1 and Canada’s rate of 2.1. Alongside Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela, the United States is one of six countries that make up half of worldwide gun deaths.
While some Americans may have grown used to news reports of the almost-daily onslaught, mass shootings and other forms of gun violence have devastating effects for those who have found themselves in the crosshairs, as well as their loved ones. Victims and family members of gun violence, including mass shootings, may wish to consult a lawyer to find out more about personal injury claims.