According to the Gun Violence Archive, the death toll from mass shootings in the United States has reached over 600 this year, marking the highest number of fatalities in at least 10 years. This comes as the country grapples with the deadliest mass shooting of the year in Lewiston, Maine.
Since January 1, there have been 566 mass shootings in the U.S., the highest recorded through October 27 since the Gun Violence Archive began tracking such incidents in 2014. The Gun Violence Archive defines mass shootings as incidents where four or more people are killed or injured, excluding the assailant.
Two recent mass shootings contributed to the total death toll of 602 this year. One occurred outside Clinton, North Carolina, where the bodies of five individuals were discovered on Thursday morning. The other took place in Lewiston, Maine, where at least 18 people were killed at a bowling alley and restaurant.
Comparing the death tolls from previous years, the number of people killed in mass shootings this year surpasses the figures from the past decade. By this time last year, 545 people had been killed, while in 2021, the number stood at 564, and in 2020, it was 413. No other year between 2014 and 2019 recorded a death toll exceeding 400.
Despite calls for stricter gun control measures from Democratic lawmakers, including President Joe Biden, the Supreme Court is set to rule on a case that could potentially weaken restrictions on firearm ownership. The case, scheduled for oral arguments on November 7, will determine the constitutionality of a federal statute that prohibits individuals with domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns. The ruling follows a Circuit Court of Appeals decision in 2022, which deemed the prohibition on gun ownership based on domestic violence as unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s previous ruling on firearm regulation.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a total of 35,383 people have been killed in gun-related incidents this year, including over 15,500 homicides and unintentional gunfire deaths, as well as 19,800 suicides.