Scalise was one of 30 shooting victims in the U.S. so far today
A teenager was killed by a shotgun blast, apparently by accident, in a garage in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A 41-year-old woman was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in the bedroom of a Fort Worth, Texas, duplex.
And a 51-year-old U.S. congressman and four others were shot during a morning rampage at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
Those people are among the at least 30 who were shot in the United States on Wednesday alone, according to the nonpartisan Gun Violence Archive, which relies on local news sources to track shooting incidents in near real time.
The shooting of the congressman, Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, drew horror, outrage, and intense media coverage (including from VICE News). Taken together with Wednesday’s other shootings, it also serves as a stark reminder of the intense level of gun violence the United States endures each day.
In fact, the Alexandria shooting wasn’t even Wednesday’s only mass shooting: A gunman killed three people and injured two others at a UPS facility in San Francisco before killing himself.
And Wednesday’s tally represents a steep drop from Tuesday, when the Gun Violence Archive counted more than 70 incidents of gun violence in the United States. On Monday, more than 100 incidents took place. So far in 2017, there have been more than 27,000 shootings, in which nearly 7,000 people have died. (These numbers don’t include gun-related suicides, which account for two-thirds of the more than 33,000 gun deaths in the United States each year.)
Official efforts fail to capture incidents of gun violence as well as the Gun Violence Archive does. According to the nonprofit’s official methodology, researchers comb through 2,000 sources — including news outlets and police blotters — every day to identify shootings and verify reports. The FBI’s annual shooting statistics extrapolate totals from a smaller sample and aren’t as accurate. The CDC only explicitly counts deaths from firearms, grouping hospital visits from firearm injuries under an “other mechanism” category.
“Today’s shootings remind us that the plague of gun violence is not confined to one demographic or set of Americans. It affects all of us,” Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a national gun control advocacy group, said in a statement following the Alexandria and San Francisco shootings. “Whether the victim is a child walking in her neighborhood, an employee at a UPS facility, or the majority whip of the United States Congress, no one is immune. More than 90 individuals die from gun violence in the United States every single day.”
It’s true that anybody can be hit by a bullet, but certain groups of people are much more likely to find themselves on the receiving end of gunfire. Half of all gun homicide victims in this country are men between the ages of 15 and 34; two-thirds of those victims are black. In 2015, half of U.S. gun homicides were clustered in just 127 cities and towns, such as St. Louis, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland. Those cities’ poorest neighborhoods are hit especially hard by gun violence.
“When is it gonna stop? When is it gonna stop?” asked the niece of a 45-year-old man gunned down early Wednesday morning in Chicago, just half a block from the yellow crime scene tape that cordoned off her uncle’s body. “All these innocent babies — my uncle didn’t do nothing.”
Wednesday’s attacks fell in the middle of a week that already contains two anniversaries of mass gun violence: Monday was the anniversary of the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and this Saturday will mark two years since nine churchgoers were shot to death at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Cover: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images