Mass shootings in the US surpass 400 this year

Country seeing record-breaking surge in gun violence

Protestors gather at the Tennessee State Capitol to call for end to gun violence after three children were killed at a primary school. AFP
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America has experienced more than 400 mass shootings so far this year, putting the country on pace to experience its worst year in recent history for gun violence.

The US reached the figure after a mass shooting that left one person dead and two people injured in Houston on Saturday, data from the Gun Violence Archive showed.

It is the earliest the country has reached 400 mass shootings since at least 2013, when the archive began collecting data.

A mass shooting is defined by the archive as an incident where at least four victims are shot, not including the perpetrator who may have also been injured or killed.

Among the higher-profile carnage this year have been mass shootings on Independence Day and at a festival in Colorado. In a reminder of the Robb Elementary School attack a year ago, three pupils and three staff members were murdered at a mass shooting in a primary school in Nashville, Tennessee.

Gun violence – in the form of homicide or murder, unintentional use, defensive gun use and death by suicide – has contributed to more than 24,000 deaths across the US so far this year.

One in five Americans say they have been threatened with a gun, a 2023 study from KFF found. A similar number of people say a family member was killed due to gun-related violence, including death by suicide. Seventeen per cent of people in the US say that have witnessed someone being shot.

Federal reform has been elusive since President Joe Biden signed into law a bipartisan gun-control bill last year. Mr Biden instead has had to rely on his executive authority by issuing orders designed to strengthen background checks and investigating gun manufacturers' marketing tactics.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear a case later this year on whether to decide if federal law can prohibit people under domestic violence restraining orders from owning firearms.

Updated: July 24, 2023, 4:33 PM