U.S. sees more mass shootings after Texas massacre over Memorial Day weekend – National
Even as the whole country reels from the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, multiple mass shootings occurred elsewhere during Memorial Day weekend in both rural and urban areas. Gun deaths still account for most gun deaths.
Gunfire broke out in the early hours of Sunday at a festival in the town of Taft, Oklahoma, sending hundreds of scattered revelers and customers inside the nearby Boots Cafe diving for cover. Eight people between the ages of 9 and 56 were shot, and one of them died.
Six children aged 13 to 15 were injured Saturday night in a touristy neighborhood of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The two groups got into a scuffle, and two of them pulled out their guns and started shooting.
And at a club and liquor store in Benton Harbor in the southwest Michigan, a 19-year-old man was killed and six others injured after gunshots were heard in the middle of a crowd around 2:30 a.m. Monday. Police found shell casings of different sizes.
These and others met a common definition of a mass shooting in which four or more people were shot. Such occurrences have become so frequent, news of them is likely to fade quickly.
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There are at least two incidents in Chicago late Friday through Monday, qualify as mass shootings, including one near a closed elementary school on the West Side in which those injured included a 16-year-old girl.
Deadly shootings also rock families and communities.
In Arkansas, a 7-year-old girl was killed Saturday in a crowded area near Little Rock Zoo, what police described as “an isolated event involving acquaintances.”
And on Chicago’s South Side, the body of a young man killed at an outdoor birthday party lay on the sidewalk early Sunday morning, covered with a white sheet. His mother stood nearby, crying.
Overall, Chicago recorded 32 shootings over the weekend, of which 47 were shot and 9 died.
After the Uvalde shooting, by an 18-year-old who legally purchased an AR-style rifle, the Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican opponents of harsher gun laws were quick to point to Chicago as an example of how such measures have not worked, saying, “many people are shot every weekend ( there) than in Texas schools.”
Chicago’s high rates of gun violence have made a host of Democratic governments there, including that of incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot, vulnerable to criticism – sometimes from their own parties.
But the assertions by Abbott and others mislead and oversimplify the situation in the country’s third-largest city. Many of the guns used in the Chicago killings were originally purchased in other states with less strict gun laws, like Indiana and Mississippi. Chicago officials also note that the city records fewer homicides per capita than many other small US cities.
Sheriffs there and in other cities have canceled holidays to increase police numbers during the holiday, hoping it will act as a deterrent. Independent conflict mediators have also taken to the streets, using social media to identify smoldering conflicts that have the potential to erupt into real-world violence.
In DetroitPolice Chief James White has promised to enforce a strict curfew targeting youth and teenagers after three people were injured in a shooting earlier this month in Greektown, a popular downtown restaurant and entertainment district. city.
Such strategies may have worked in individual cases, but statistics from some cities do not show that violence has been sustained at or below levels in previous years. The death toll over the Chicago Memorial Day weekend tripled last year.
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It has long been in northern cities that hot weather means more violence. Temperatures in Detroit and Chicago in the ’80s – unreasonably warm – over the three-day weekend, kept more people out and increased the likelihood of clashes, often between rival gangs. Alcohol at holiday parties can refuel personal beef, some of which first stinks online.
“The seasons may not have much of an impact on shootings in Los Angeles, where the weather is consistently good,” said Rodney Phillips, a Chicago-based violence prevention officer and former gang member. But in his city, Memorial Day weekend often marks “the season of killing begins,” he said.
Residents like Yvonne Fields, of Detroit, say they’re especially cautious as Memorial Day approaches. Grandma, her children and grandchildren spent time closer to home this weekend.
“The holidays aren’t what they used to be,” Fields said. “The gangs have taken over. They carry out drive-in shootings. People are living in fear.”
Police in major cities often say that most murders are gang-linked, although others point to poverty and the despair that accompanies it as the underlying cause.
An organizational shift over the past three decades, from top-down gangs led by recognizable leaders who can assert control, to more loosely structured, distributed groups, also contributed to the violence.
“These gangs are getting younger, bolder and more impulsive,” Phillips said. “It is alarming. Nowadays it is common for children to shoot children.
Malik Shabazz, who helps lead neighborhood safety and crime-fighting patrols in Detroit, said the Detroit New Black Panther Nation/New Marcus Garvey Movement he founded looks for an uptick in crime during the holidays when people gather in groups and have more free time than work.
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Shabazz, 59, says: “What I see is that both the police and the victims of (shootings and violent crime) are getting younger and younger, and the crime is becoming more heinous,” says Shabazz, 59 age, said. now i can shoot you and i can stab you on a matter of respect, don’t speak out or ignore it and walk away. “
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