This week, gun violence incidents have again plagued the state of Texas, with Houston being hit particularly hard in recent days. Early Saturday in Houston, at Margaret Jenkins Park, multiple groups began firing their guns resulting in 36 shots fired and five people total struck by gunfire, including a 21-year-old pregnant woman who was declared dead at the scene. Early Sunday, another five people were wounded in Houston when a man started shooting inside a packed after-hours nightclub after an escalated argument. Just hours later on Sunday night, a man shot and killed the mother of his child during a custody exchange in the Spring Branch area in Houston.
“This weekend, arguments escalated to gunfire, leaving at least two mothers dead. This is not the world we deserve to live in, but with Governor Abbott and our reckless lawmakers, we cannot feel safe anywhere in our state,” said Karin Knapp, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These tragedies fuel our fight to demand that lawmakers protect Texans – so we can live our lives free of deadly gunfire.”
The shooting at Margaret Jenkins Park marked the 400th mass shooting in the United States in 2023, and was one of six mass shootings across the nation this weekend, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Additionally, in the U.S., the crisis of domestic violence is closely linked to the widespread and growing use of guns by abusers. Two-thirds of women killed by an intimate partner are killed with a gun. Existing loopholes in federal and state law allow access to guns by abusive partners and stalkers, often with deadly results. Earlier this year, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down a critical, long-standing federal gun safety law that protects domestic violence victims by keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers subject to restraining orders. Until the Supreme Court takes the case and ultimately reverses the Fifth Circuit decision, domestic abuse victims in Texas live under a cloud of uncertainty about core protection against violence.
In an average year, 3,996 people die by guns in Texas, and 5,556 more are wounded. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Texas. More information on gun violence in Texas is available here.