On Saturday, a man with an assault rifle walked into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and shot 46 people. As of this writing, 20 are dead.
But America did not even get a full day to mourn those deaths. Early Sunday morning, as most of the nation slept, a second shooter murdered ten people in a bar in Dayton, Ohio. The second shooting, according to Mayor Nan Whaley, lasted “less than one minute” before “first responders neutralized the shooter.” The shooter is also dead.
There have been at least 251 mass shootings in the United States in 2019, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a website that tracks shooting incidents where four or more people are shot.
Meanwhile, those mass shootings are only a small part of a much broader epidemic of gun violence in the United States. In 2018, 14,624 people were killed by guns — and that’s actually a drop from recent years. The deadliest weapon is the handgun, owing to its ability to be easily concealed. And yet the Supreme Court has said that this preferred weapon of murderers enjoys special constitutional protection and cannot be banned.
The rate of gun-related murder and non-negligent manslaughter in the United States was 7.5 times higher than Canada’s in 2017. Unlike the United States, Canada has strict gun laws. All gun owners must be licensed, and handguns may not be carried outside the home without a special license that is typically only given to people who need a gun for their job.
This piece has been updated to reflect the fact that the death count in the Dayton shooting is now ten.