• February 23, 2024

Weekend Shootings In Texas And Wisconsin Add To Tally Of U.S. Gun Deaths : NPR

Rescue workers work at the location on a shooting Sunday in Austin. Police said three people were killed. Jim Vertuno / AP Hide caption

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Jim Vertuno / AP

Rescue workers work at the location on a shooting Sunday in Austin. Police said three people were killed.

Jim Vertuno / AP

Police said three people were killed in a shooting in the Great Hills neighborhood of Austin on Sunday.

Austin police said while the suspect remains at large, the shooting appears to be a “domestic situation” and does not pose a risk to the general public. Police urged residents to seek refuge on the spot.

Austin interim police chief Joe Chacon told reporters the three victims were two women and one man.

“Obviously this is a tragedy. We have people who have lost their lives here,” said Chacon Austin American-Statesman. “We will do our best … to take this person into custody … and hopefully with no further loss of life.”

It was the second multi-fatal shooting in the US on Sunday.

Three others died in an overnight shoot on Sunday in a college bar in Kenosha, Wisconsin; two others were injured. Police described there the attack as “targeted and isolated” and have said that they do not believe that there is an ongoing threat to the community.

The incidents follow several other mass shootings in the United States.

Eight people were killed and several others injured in an attack in Indianapolis on Thursday. The motive there has yet to be determined. A former FedEx employee reportedly killed several people, four of whom were Sikh faithful, at one of the company’s facilities.

Indianapolis shooting suspect received guns legally, police say

The Indianapolis Sikh community mourns 4 of its members who were killed in the shooting

Members of the Indianapolis Sikh community joined forces with the city’s mayor and hundreds of other residents on a Saturday vigil to honor the dead and urge a revision of gun regulations.

Other high profile mass shootings took place in March in Boulder, Colorado and Atlanta. Other shootings, with at least four deaths in the past 30 days, took place in Rock Hill, SC, Allen, Texas, Orange, California, and Essex, MD Gun violence archive.

The United States has a much higher rate of gun violence than most of its global counterparts.

Gun Violence Deaths: How the US Compares to the Rest of the World

According to the Gun violence archiveA total of at least 19,394 people were killed by gun violence in 2020. Including suicides, that number rises to 43,550 people.

As of Sunday, the group had counted at least 5,517 non-suicide deaths in 2021, a similar number to 2020.

The entire country saw a 25% increase in deaths from non-suicidal weapons in 2020 compared to 2019, although some places like New York saw a significantly larger increase.

Dr. Sonali Rajan of Columbia Scientific Union on Gun Violence Reduction told NPR in January that one of the things that could have played a role in the increase was a diversion of public health resources due to the pandemic. She said this has resulted in “violence interrupters, social programs and support services not being readily available”.

Have record gun sales led to an increase in gun crime?  Researchers say it's complicated

Another possible cause: the increase in arms sales. 2020 was the best year for Arms sales ever.

The gun rush began with the first coronavirus lockdowns and continued through the summer protests against racial justice. At least 20 million weapons were legally sold, up from 12.4 million in 2019.

However, experts say isolating a single cause can be challenging, especially during the pandemic of mass unemployment and closed schools.

Washington’s ability to legislate in response to gun violence remains limited. Although the Democrats control both houses of Congress and are largely in favor of stricter guns laws, their ability to get legislation through the Senate would require the collaboration of at least 10 Republican senators to overcome an inevitable filibuster – something that essentially doesn’t stand a chance got on a gun bill.

While some Republican lawmakers support limited action on popular reforms, including universal background checks for arms purchases, disagreements within the caucus and the party’s dangerous primary policies make the compromise legislation unlikely to disappear.

Earlier this month, President Biden took a series of solo steps aimed to reduce gun violence through executive policy.

This includes the Justice Department’s drive to “stop the spread” called ghost guns, which can be assembled at home from kits and do not come with serial numbers. How NPR reportsBiden would like to request serial numbers for certain parts and require buyers to undergo background checks.

The Justice Department will also publish an annual report on the arms trade, updating the last report from more than two decades ago. And the department was directed to devise rules for stabilizing struts that make pistols more stable and accurate.


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