Mass Shootings Make Devastating Return As US Sees 7 Shooting Sprees In 7 Days
The shooting in Boulder, Colorado is the 102nd mass shooting in 2021, data shows.
March 24, 2021 at 12:03 am
Boulder, Colorado is reeling after a mass shooting on Monday that led to 10 deaths, according to The Washington Post.
The gunman shot customers, workers and a police officer at a King Soopers grocery store, using an AR-15. He was arrested and taken into custody around 3:30 p.m., shortly after the shootings.
"My heart is breaking as we watch this unspeakable event unfold in our Boulder community," Colorado governor Jared Polis said in a statement on Twitter.
“The fact that it’s happening all over America, seeing it on the news, like, something I’ve grown up with, like people my age and my generation — we’re used to this, and it’s just never something that I think would happen in my town,” one shell-shocked witness told Fox 31.
The shooting came just seven days after a gunman opened fire at a series of massage parlors in Atlanta, killing eight people including six Asian women.
CNN reported that the mass shootings are among seven that have taken place over the last seven days and data from the Gun Violence Archive shows that there have been more than 100 mass shootings in 2021. A mass shooting involves at least four people being shot or killed at the same time and place, according to the FBI definition.
“It's absolutely tragic. Ten people going about their day, living their lives, not bothering anybody. A police officer who is performing his duties, and with great courage and heroism,” Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters Monday night, according to The Hill.
According to CNN, after the Atlanta shooting, police said five people were shot in Stockton, California, on Wednesday, four were shot on Thursday in Gresham, Oregon, and there were multiple mass shootings in Houston, Dallas and Philadelphia on Saturday.
These figures do not include the shootings that took place in Chicago, where 21 people were shot and four people died across the city from Friday to Sunday, according to ABC7.
Tré Easton, Senior Advisor at Battle Born Collective, told Blavity that the political fight over the shootings were already starting.
"Yet again the tragedy of a mass shooting has been visited upon this country—the second in less than a week’s time. Already, the familiar battle lines around this issue are being drawn. Republicans insist that the cost of freedom is fear of mass violence, and Democrats are beginning to despair that Republican intransigence stands in the way of action," Easton said.
People online pointed to the widespread availability of AR-15s as a reason why it was so easy for people to kill multiple people at a time.
Boulder actually banned AR-15s in 2018 but the Colorado State Shooting Association sued the city and won in court, with a judge blocking that law just 10 days before the mass shooter opened fire on Monday, according to The Washington Post.
Boulder: AR-15— Adam Best (@adamcbest) March 23, 2021
Las Vegas: AR-15
Aurora, CO: AR-15
Sandy Hook: AR-15
Waffle House: AR-15
San Bernardino: AR-15
Poway synagogue: AR-15
Sutherland Springs: AR-15
Tree of Life Synagogue: AR-15
“We tried to protect our city. It’s so tragic to see the legislation struck down, and days later, to have our city experience exactly what we were trying to prevent,” Dawn Reinfeld, co-founder of the Colorado gun violence prevention group Blue Rising, told The Washington Post.
The New York Times reported that mass shootings were less frequent in 2020 as the pandemic raged across the country. According to the Associated Press, there were only two mass shootings in 2020, one of which was in February, when an employee of a brewery in Milwaukee killed himself and five others. The other, which took place in March, involved a man killing four people and himself in Missouri.
After those two attacks, no other mass shootings were reported for the rest of the year, with most people avoiding public spaces. Additionally, news media was consumed with coverage of COVID-19, giving mass killers less incentive to commit violent acts for reasons related to fame, according to experts who spoke with the Associated Press.
In 2018 there were nine mass shootings and 2019 had 10.
“The thing about mass shooters is they tend to be people who feel that they are the victims of injustice. Well, lots of people now are suffering, not just them. It’s hard to say right now that your own plight is unique or unfair. It may not feel good, but there’s certainly reason for it. And it’s not because of something someone’s doing to you. It’s really the pandemic, which is a thing not a person,” James Alan Fox, a criminologist and professor at Northeastern University, told the Associated Press.
While there was a decrease in the number of mass shootings, the number of overall shootings actually increased in 2020, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. There were more than 600 shootings in 2020 compared to about 417 in 2019.
Many of these shootings involved family, friends and people who knew their victims. There was also a rise in gang violence and drive-by shootings.
“Those were the worst years on record. There had been a hope that maybe we broke the cycle and maybe we won’t return. Now that it’s back, a number of scholars are really concerned,” said Jillian Peterson, co-founder of the Violence Project, told The New York Times.