(VitalNews.org) – The United States just saw its 500th mass shooting this year and the debate over firearms rages on.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the US marked its 501st mass shooting after an incident in Denver last Saturday night left five people injured and hospitalized. No arrests were made and all of the victims are expected to survive, but the event pushed the country past the 500 mark. Another shooting in El Paso, Texas, on Sunday around 1 AM was reported soon after, which left a 19-year-old man dead and five others injured, one of whom is in critical condition.
The deadliest shooting in 2023 so far took place in January after a man killed 11 and injured 10 others at a dance studio in Monterey Park, California, after a celebration of the Lunar New Year.
The Gun Violence Archive is a database that records all mass shooting cases where four or more people are wounded or killed in the incident. The database found that although 2023’s numbers have already surpassed 2019 and 2018, which saw 414 and 335 incidents, the numbers are still behind 2020, 2021, and 2022.
The highest number of mass shootings in a single year in American history was 689 recorded in 2021, which then fell to 645 in 2022 even though there was a rise in the total number of people injured, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI defines a mass shooting as any event in which “one or more individuals” kill or try to kill others “in a populated area,” which varies from the Gun Violence Archive definition that focuses on the total number of victims.
Despite the drop in incidents from last year and regardless of what criteria are used to assess the number of shootings, the past twenty years have seen a rise in such events overall as lawmakers continue to debate about what should be done. Democrats are calling for a heavier hand with gun control laws and more restrictions, while Republicans tend to favor allowing people the freedom to use their own firearms to defend against people who misuse them.
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