No place is safe: mass shootings in America

Colt M4 Carbine and AR-15 style assault rifles on display during the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas in May.

A mostly Latino working-class elementary school. A supermarket with a largely Black clientele. A July 4th celebration in an upscale, mostly white community.

The most recent mass shooting in the United States, which left six people attending an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois dead on Monday, underlined the fact that — in a nation awash with guns — no community is immune.

“You hear these things on the news. And they are horrifying. And then it’s in your own front yard. And you just can’t believe it’s real,” Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said on CBS.

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In addition to the fatalities at Highland Park, the shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York on May 14 left 10 dead; while 21 people, mostly young children, were killed at the primary school in Uvalde, Texas on May 24.

And both shooters used high-powered easy-to-acquire powerful semi-automatic assault rifles.

It was another teen who killed the 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde; his planning was less clear but it came just eight days after he turned 18, when he was able to buy his two guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Identical to the others, Crimo used a semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle.

“They were in his name. They were legally purchased,” Covelli said.

Designed as a war weapon rather than for hunting, it shoots high-powered rounds that tear gaping wounds in their targets. And it shoots them fast.

The Uvalde shooter fired off more than 160 rounds, and the Buffalo killer more than 50.

Another is the frequent handgun shootings in urban areas, that are often targeted, such as those which involve drug-dealing rivals.

The Gun Violence Archive defines a “mass shooting” as a single incident in which at least four people are wounded or killed.

Most of those appeared to involve handguns, millions of which are sold each year.

“Mass shootings have become our weekly American tradition,” he said.

After the two shootings in May, Congress took limited action, legislating enhanced background checks for younger buyers and supporting “red flag” laws that allow courts to temporarily remove weapons from those considered a threat.

Lawmakers again called for tougher action on Tuesday.

“It’s shameful that we have allowed mass shootings to become so commonplace in the United States,” she said.

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