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National Record Set On Sunday By Two More Mass Shootings

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

On Sunday, two mass shootings in Texas and Washington set what the Washington Post described as a “gruesome milestone.” The tragedies were the 37th and 38th shootings this year in which four or more victims were killed, the highest number of mass killings in any year since at least 2006. Last year’s 36 was the previous record. The latest deaths also brought the 2023 total to 197, not counting the shooters — yet another record. Ninety-one people were wounded in those events but survived.

The record is “a tragic, shameful milestone that should — but probably will not — serve as a wake-up call” to lawmakers opposing gun regulations, said Thomas Abt, founding director of the Center for the Study and Practice of Violence Reduction and an associate research professor at the University of Maryland. “The rise in mass shootings is driven by many factors, but increasingly easy access to firearms is the primary cause.”

Mass killings, which account for a tiny percentage of gun deaths, are not an epidemic, but the tip of the gun-violence iceberg, said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern who manages the Mass Killings Database and has studied such violence for more than 40 years.


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