NEW YORK — Independence Day celebrations were marked by yet another deadly weekend of gun violence as communities across the country were torn apart by shootings that killed and wounded hundreds. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were at least 538 shootings from Friday through Tuesday in which 199 were shot and killed and 520 were shot and wounded across 43 states and the District of Columbia. Many of the victims were young, underscoring once again how and why gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children, teenagers, and college-aged people.
A snapshot of gun violence over the holiday weekend:
- CHICAGO, IL: According to reports, five people were shot and killed and over 30 were wounded in separate shootings from Friday night to Monday morning.
- BALTIMORE, MD: Two people were shot and killed and 28 others were shot and wounded, three critically during a block party. Three of the wounded were reported in critical condition and more than a dozen were minors.
- WICHITA, KS: On Sunday morning, a shooting erupted in a nightclub that left nine people shot and wounded and two others injured upon being trampled as people fled. The victims ranged between the ages 21 and 34.
- FORT WORTH, TX: On Monday night, three people were killed and eight were injured in a shooting near a community gathering in downtown Fort Worth. According to reports, 10 of the shooting victims were adults and one was a minor.
- PHILADELPHIA, PA: On Monday night, seven people were shot, five fatally, when a man opened fire along several blocks. According to local police, the victims killed ranged in age from 15 to 59, and the two wounded are ages 2 and 13.The suspect was identified and was wearing a ballistic vest and carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a ghost handgun, a police scanner and multiple magazines of ammunition.
- SHREVEPORT, LA: On Tuesday night, three people were shot and killed and at least seven others were wounded after a shooting erupted during a community block party.
- TAMPA, FL: On Tuesday night, a seven-year-old child was shot and killed on Courtney Campbell Causeway after an altercation between two groups led to gunfire. In addition to the child, another man was shot and wounded but is expected to recover.
- ST. LOUIS, MO: According to the St. Louis Metro Police, five separate shootings took place between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, where at least one person was shot and killed and another six were wounded.
- SALISBURY, MD: Early Wednesday morning, a 14-year-old child was shot and killed and six others were wounded during a block party.
- WASHINGTON, DC: Early Wednesday morning, at least nine people were shot and wounded, including two children, in a drive-by shooting in the nation’s capital during July 4 celebrations.
“Freedom means the opportunity to gather in celebration, in mourning, in protest. It means the ability to go grocery shopping, to school, to church, or to watch a parade. It means the opportunity to do these things and more without the fear of being gunned down,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Executive Director of Moms Demand Action. “And yet, once again, this holiday weekend was another marked by gun violence across the country. This violence is devastating, but it is not inevitable. The gun industry and their allies in Congress and on the Supreme Court care more about profits and politics than public safety. But when we elect gun sense candidates, we get gun safety policies enacted that save lives. Our grassroots army will not stop fighting until we live in an America that is free from the fear of gun violence.”
As gun violence continues to devastate our communities, gun-lobby backed lawmakers have not stood down from the “guns everywhere agenda.” For example, this year, Nebraska and Florida have enacted permitless carry laws despite opposition from law enforcement, which allow residents of those states to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a background check or safety training.
To save lives, lawmakers at every level must take meaningful action to prevent access to guns by those who are a danger to themselves or others, invest in community-based violence intervention programs that do life-saving work in the nation’s hardest hit communities, and reject any efforts to pass gun-lobby-backed bills that would weaken lifesaving gun laws.
On Friday, Everytown released guidance for covering July Fourth weekend gun violence in context which is available here. Statistics about gun violence in the United States are available here, and Everytown’s 2023 Gun Law Rankings – which shows how state gun laws compare – is available here.
If you are interested in speaking with a Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action policy expert or volunteer, please reach out to [email protected].