Massive Surge in Mass Shootings Across the U.S. in 2023

Lewiston, Maine – The year 2023 is coming to a close with the United States experiencing 650 mass shootings, averaging about two per day. This marks the second-highest number of mass shootings recorded by the Gun Violence Archive since it began collecting data in 2014. Mass shootings are defined as incidents in which at least four people are injured or killed in a single event, excluding the perpetrator.

The prevalence of mass shootings in the U.S. can be attributed to the high number of firearms in circulation, with approximately 120.5 firearms per 100 residents. This amounts to an estimated 390 million firearms in the country, according to the Swiss research organization Small Arms Survey. The problem has exacerbated in recent years, particularly during the pandemic, leading to a surge in gun purchases.

One of the deadliest shootings of 2023 occurred in Lewiston, Maine, where an Army reservist killed 18 people and wounded 13 others. The gunman, who suffered from mental health issues, was found dead after a three-day manhunt. Other mass shootings throughout the year claimed the lives of individuals celebrating the Lunar New Year in California and occurred in various cities across the U.S.

Efforts to reform laws governing firearms in response to these tragedies have been met with challenges, with little meaningful change resulting from these attempts. Despite the President’s calls for a new ban on assault rifles, fierce opposition from the Republican caucus and the influential National Rifle Association has hindered progress in passing legislation to tighten gun control.

In conclusion, the U.S. is facing a significant issue with gun violence, as seen by the high number of mass shootings in 2023. While there have been calls for reform, challenges remain in addressing the root causes and implementing effective measures to reduce the prevalence of gun violence in the country.