22 Mass Shootings in 17 States Over July 4 Holiday Weekend
Washington-TND - July 7, 2023 6:22 am
HUNT VALLEY, Md. (TND) — It was a bloody weekend for the United States as it celebrated its independence – many Americans heard gunshots instead of fireworks.
From Friday to the early hours of Wednesday morning, there were at least 22 mass shootings across 17 states and Washington, D.C., killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 100 others, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The Archive classifies a “mass shooting” as an incident where four or more people, excluding the shooter, are killed or injured by guns.
While dozens more gun violence incidents occurred across the nation, mass shootings that fit this criteria took place in California, Illinois (twice), Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland (three times), Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas (twice), along with Washington, D.C.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Friday, June 30: Chicago, IL – 1 killed, 3 injured
- Friday, June 30: Florin, CA – 4 injured
- Saturday, July 1: Tulsa, OK – 4 injured
- Sunday, July 2: Bronx, NY – 4 injured
- Sunday, July 2: Wichita, KS – 9 injured
- Sunday, July 2: Baltimore, MD – 2 killed, 28 injured
- Monday, July 3: Fort Worth, TX – 4 injured
- Monday, July 3: Saint Ann, MO – 3 killed, 1 injured
- Monday, July 3: Indianapolis, IN – 1 killed, 3 injured
- Monday, July 3: Fort Worth, TX – 3 killed, 8 injured
- Monday, July 3: Truman, MN – 4 injured
- Monday, July 3: Philadelphia, PA – 5 killed, 2 injured
- Tuesday, July 4: Akron, OH – 4 injured
- Tuesday, July 4: Edgewood, MD – 4 injured
- Tuesday, July 4: Shreveport, LA – 3 killed, 6 injured
- Tuesday, July 4: Charlotte, NC – 4 injured
- Tuesday, July 4: Lansing, MI – 5 injured
- Wednesday, July 5: Washington, D.C. – 9 injured
- Wednesday, July 5: Boston, MA – 5 injured
- Wednesday, July 5: Salisbury, MD – 1 killed, 6 injured
- Wednesday, July 5: Chicago, IL – 4 injured
- Wednesday, July 5: Paterson, NJ – 1 killed, 4 injured
From drive-by’s to block parties and concerts, from adult victims to children as young as two years old, from multiple suspects still on the loose to solo perpetrators, one reportedly wearing his own body armor and carrying a police scanner, the numbers alone left some Americans unsettled about attending 4th of July celebrations at all.
Not to mention, the day itself marked the first anniversary of the Highland Park massacre in Illinois, where a gunman killed seven people and injured dozens during an Independence Day parade.
President Joe Biden addressed the carnage when he was in front of the microphone Tuesday. He was speaking to the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association, and mentioned the assault weapons ban he helped pass as a senator.
“We could only get it for 10 years and one of the Republican administrations got rid of it, but Congress needs to step up,” Biden said. “Pass common sense gun safety laws to protect our kids and educators. And by the way, arming teachers is not the answer.”
In a statement the same day, Biden called on Congress to ban high-capacity magazines, require safe storage of guns, end gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability and enact universal background checks.
He also pointed to the bipartisan gun safety legislation Congress passed last June, which included funding to address mental health, strengthen school safety and incentivize the implementation of “red flag laws,” which can keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves or others.
Biden called it the most significant gun bill in three decades, but said it’s still not enough.
The U.S. may be on track for one of the worst years of mass shootings to date. There have already been at least 356 mass shootings in the nation this year, and if they keep up at this pace, the final total could reach 679 – double the number in 2018. (It would be just shy of 2021’s record number, 690, but higher than last year’s, which was 647).
Recent polls, including a May CNN poll, show most Americans favor gun control laws.
Overall, 64% of people say they favor stricter gun control laws, versus 36% who oppose. Fifty-four percent say having stricter laws would reduce the number of gun-related deaths in this country.
Nearly all Americans (94%) say they support preventing convicted felons or people with mental health problems from owning guns, which “red flag laws” address. A wide majority (80%) support preventing people younger than 21 years old from buying any type of gun. And 59% favor a ban on semi-automatic weapons.
All that considered, the White House gets a 30% approval rating on its approach to gun policy.
Lawmakers touted the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” when it became law.
“I think the whole country was yearning for something real to happen after the terrible tragedies,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, “For years, the far left falsely claimed that Congress could only address the terrible issue of mass murders by trampling on law-abiding Americans’ constitutional rights. This bill proves that false. Our colleagues have put together a commonsense package of popular steps that will help make these horrifying incidents less likely while fully upholding the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
If the Gun Violence Archive’s data holds true for the rest of 2023, it means mass shootings will have technically become more likely this year compared to the year Congress passed that law.
The debate over guns is so polarized, it’s rare the two major political parties can come together on the issue. As it stands, many lawmakers in the Republican party view any restriction of gun sales or ownership as a violation of the Second Amendment. GOP members of Congress tend to argue the issue of mass shootings starts at home, with mental health. In addition, many make the argument that, ‘good guys with guns can stop the bad guys with guns.’
Hence, the bipartisan gun bill that beefed up school security and mental health resources.
There’s some semblance of bipartisanship behind “red flag laws” as well, since incentives for states were included in the bill, though states are not obligated to adopt such laws.
Philadelphia city officials are calling for them now after the city saw the deadliest shooting out of the 22 over the holiday weekend. The accused gunman in that case, 40-year-old Kimbrady Carriker, is said to have opened fire while wearing a bulletproof vest and a ski mask, carrying an AR-15 style rifle, a handgun and a police scanner.
Authorities say Carriker had roommates who observed him exhibiting increasingly agitated behavior, and they knew about his stockpile of guns. But Pennsylvania does not have a “red flag law” in place, so even if his roommates would have called 911, law enforcement officials are limited on what they can do with the information, and they definitely can’t take the guns.
“It is clear that the time for ‘red flag laws’ has come,” said Pennsylvania State Sen. Sharif Street at a news conference Wednesday. “Right now, in Pennsylvania, we don’t have all the tools that are in place that would incentivize people to want to make that call.”
But gun rights groups strongly oppose “red flag laws.” This is what the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action states on its website:
“So-called ‘Red Flag’ orders, or Emergency Risk Protection Orders, are designed to empower the government to confiscate Americans’ firearms without due process of law. Aside from allowing run-of-the-mill malicious actors to indulge personal grudges against law-abiding gun owners, in the current politically-charged environment, these laws enable the government to target those with First Amendment-protected political views the government disfavors.”
Many Republican lawmakers express a similar sentiment, like House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who said after the deadly Nashville school shooting in May that left three children and three adults dead, “The Second Amendment is the Second Amendment. I believe in the Second Amendment and we shouldn’t penalize law-abiding American citizens.”
Those Republicans also point to certain shootings where “red flag laws” wouldn’t have stopped the shooter from getting a gun or opening fire, because sometimes shooters don’t exhibit any signs of instability, or no one is around to notice them.
It’s unclear if Congress or Biden will attempt another push for gun control legislation, but White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden still calls on Congress to do something.
“As we have seen over the last few days, there’s a lot more work to do to address the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing up our communities Lives are at stake here, folks. Lives are at stake.