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A High School Football Game in Mobile. A Nightclub in Houston. Two Shootings Reflect Ongoing Daily Toll of Violence.

October 16, 2021

A pair of shootings hundreds miles apart Friday night and early this morning are making national news, serving as a grim reminder of the daily toll of gun violence in the U.S. Every day on average, more than 100 people are shot and killed in the U.S., and more than 200 others are wounded. 

  • In Mobile, four people were wounded in a shooting outside a high school football game, at least one of them critically. Coverage of the shooting and footage on social media showed players and fans running for cover after the shooting started. More information about gun violence in Alabama is available here.
  • In Houston, a deputy from the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting early Saturday outside a nightclub. News reports indicated the deputies were responding to a disturbance at the time that may have been a robbery. More information about gun violence in Texas is available here.

The Mobile football stadium where Friday’s shooting occurred was featured last year in a New York Times feature story about gun violence at after-school events, which drew in part on data from Everytown for Gun Safety’s Gunfire on School Grounds database. Referencing a relative lack of media coverage, the story noted:

Another reason for the difference in attention, experts suggested, is a numbness about gun violence in the places where sporting event shootings often occur. Many of the deadliest school-day shootings have been in suburban and rural areas, and the victims have frequently been white. Shootings at sporting events have happened in a variety of places, including large cities, and many of the victims have been black.

The story quoted Everytown’s senior director of community safety initiatives, Michael-Sean Spence, who described “a barrier that prevents people from seeing the residents of these communities as whole individuals deserving of public safety, and because of that the coverage has been skewed.”

Both shootings come amid calls from in-state advocates in Texas and Alabama to invest in community-led violence intervention programs. For decades, community-based organizations have successfully reduced violence by implementing alternative public safety measures that are locally driven and informed by data. Texas and Alabama have both passed on the opportunity to utilize funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to support these programs.

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