As of today (Aug. 4), we are 216 days into 2019. In the US over that time, more than 1,300 people have been injured or killed in mass shootings, according to data collected by the Gun Violence Archive.
The nonprofit organization, which is based in Washington, DC, defines a mass shooting as an event in which at least four people were shot. By its calculations, that means there have been some 292 mass shootings in the US since the year began.
Within the past 24 hours alone, two mass shootings took place in two different states. The first occurred on Saturday at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where a gunman killed 20 and injured 26. The second unfolded early Sunday morning in Dayton, Ohio, where a gunman killed 9 people and injured at least 16 more. It was the third mass shooting in the US this week.
Police said officers shot and killed the gunman in Dayton.
The El Paso shooter is in police custody, however, and being interviewed by authorities. Police believe the 21-year-old white man posted a 2,300-word anti-immigrant manifesto minutes before the attack. According to the manifesto, the shooter was inspired by the New Zealand mass shooting at a mosque in March of this year.
As Axios’ Mike Allen pointed out this morning, the US has the highest gun ownership rate of any other country in the world. In the US, there are 120.5 guns per 100 people (pdf)—more than twice the rate of Yemen, which has the next highest rate at 52.8 guns per 100 people. The high rate of gun ownership and the spread of white nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment are largely blamed for fueling the unprecedented number of mass shootings in the US.