For the third year in a row, America surpasses a grim total of 600 mass shootings

A woman stands at a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at a Walmart store in the US.
One of the latest mass shootings in the US saw six people killed at a Walmart supermarket in Virginia. Credit: AP

By ITV News DC Producer Fred Dimbleby

A day without a mass shooting in America is now far rarer than a day with one.

On Wednesday, the country woke once again to familiar news.

Just days after five people were shot and killed at a LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado, an employee had opened fire at a Walmart supermarket in Virginia killing six people, before taking his own life.

It was, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), America's 607th mass shooting this year.

Since then there have been three more and the total now stands at 610. That figure will inevitably rise.

It means that, for the third year running, there have been more than 600 mass shootings in a country gripped by a gun violence epidemic.

Defined as events where four people or more are shot or killed, mass shootings have occurred in 37 of America's 50 states this year.

The numbers have doubled since 2014, when there were 273 recorded, and 2022 now has an average of 1.86 mass shootings per day.

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And this only tells part of America's gun violence story.

According to figures from the GVA, 39,733 people have been killed in the last year because of gun violence.

These are figures that will almost certainly be inaccurate by the time this article is published, such is the speed with which the number rises.

It takes nine pages of data just to list the shootings that have happened in the last 72 hours, let alone all of those from the last year.

And when plotted on a map, the chilling ubiquity of gun violence is clear.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 600 US mass shootings so far in 2022. Credit: Gun Violence Archive

Some areas are completely covered in red marks, representing those killed by shootings.

Among them, was the attack in Buffalo, New York, which killed ten people and the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at a school in Uvalde, Texas.

Everyday, there are new victims of America's gun violence epidemic. This year will see yet more mass shootings, more death, and more lives torn apart.

To live in America is to know that the momentary quiet between each violent episode will soon be disrupted by gunfire.