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Countless mass shootings and counting, the American reality we live in

As of Feb. 6, 60 mass shooting have been reported in the U.S. according to the Gun Violence Archive. Photo courtesy of Fibonacci Blue

Families wake up every day and expect to enjoy their day with friends or family at the movies or perhaps a day of shopping at the mall, and in a split-second, an individual pulls out a gun and life changes in an instant and sends a shock around the country. It is a frightening scenario, but in the U.S., it is a scenario that has become a reality.  

There have been 85 mass shootings so far, a number that is expected to grow. Thousands of families and individuals are traumatized by hearing one gunshot after another and seeing scarring images of individuals hurt and killed. When will we ask ourselves, “Enough is enough?”   

The Gun Violence Archive keeps records of gun-related fatalities and injuries in the U.S. in January has seen the highest number of mass shootings on record in the country this year, whereas the average number mass shootings over the last few years during this month has never exceeded 25. But in 2023, 52 mass shootings were reported in January, breaking the previous record of 34 last year. 

Ranging from California to Maryland, countless cities across the country have joined the expanding list of American communities damaged and harmed by gun violence. Although the topic of gun control is a sensitive subject for some people, the fact cannot be ignored that gun violence is an issue and a problem in America.  

Over the past month, California, Iowa, and Washington encountered a series of five shootings resulting in 24 casualties. This tragic loss left many families and communities in an empty state of grief and heartbreak. 

After California experienced three horrific shootings in the span of 72 hours that took 19 lives, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered some remarks in an ABC News conference.  

“Only in America do we see this kind of carnage and chaos of gun violence that destroys our communities,” Newsom said. “America is No. 1 in gun ownership, and we surpass every developed nation in gun deaths.” 

Jan. 21, the Asian community celebrated and danced their way in the New Lunar Year celebrating a night full of love and hope with their loved ones, not knowing that their New Year would be marked by gun violence and tragedy. Huu Can Tran opened fire in Monterey Park, California killing 11 people and creating sorrow for all those families. Their lives will forever be marked by gun violence and mass shootings in America.  

Soon after that, seven people died during a second shooting that Monday afternoon, Jan. 23, in Half-Moon Bay, which authorities described as an “act of workplace violence.”  

Not even a day later, another gunman opened fire at a gas station in Oakland, approximately 41 miles away from Half-Moon Bay, wounding seven people and killing an 18-year-old. 

The shootings haven’t stopped since, as another gunman started shooting bystanders in a food court at Cielo Vista mall in El Paso last week, injuring three and killing one.  

A scene filled with crying loved ones, and police vehicles surrounding the mall, this tragedy left the community in disbelief and reliving emotions, as the mall was next to the Walmart store where the 2019 mass shooting took place in El Paso. 

Government officials such as Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden spoke in response to these horrible tragedies across the country and offered their condolences to the victims’ families. 

“Yet another community has been torn apart by senseless gun violence,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. “We grieve for those people whose lives are forever changed and all of us in this room and country understand this violence must stop.” 

According to a White House statement released on Jan. 24, President Joe Biden urged Congress to “act quickly” and pass legislation that would outlaw assault weapons and raise the legal buying age for firearms to 21.  

“The scourge of gun violence across America requires stronger action,” said President Joe Biden. “I once again urge both chambers of Congress to act quickly and deliver this Assault Weapons Ban to my desk.” 

Discussions over gun control laws and regulations are becoming frequent since the recent increase in gun violence that is devastating communities and breaking the hearts of families. With the high rates of both gun ownership and gun violence, it seems inevitable that these numbers will keep rising because of recurring events happening in America today.  

Erik Acosta is staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]  


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About the Contributor
Erik Acosta, Web/Copy Editor
Erik Acosta is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in theatre. Erik started working at The Prospector as staff reporter spring 2023, and now serves as the web and copy editor.
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Countless mass shootings and counting, the American reality we live in