Even as the United States reeled over the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas, there were multiple mass shootings across the nation over Memorial Day weekend.
Gun reform and gun safety have skyrocketed back into the national spotlight. Gun violence has only continued, however, in the absence of any actual reform.
Sadly, such occurrences of mass shootings have become so regular, that they are incredibly unlikely to make the news, and if they do, the news of them tends to fade very quickly. The common definition of a mass shooting is one in which four or more people are shot.
In Oklahoma, a festival in the town of Taft saw gunfire in the predawn hours of Sunday, sending hundreds of people scattering, and people inside of a nearby cafe diving for cover. Eight people, aged from nine to 56, were shot, killing one.
In Tennessee, six children between the ages of 13 and 15 were shot and wounded in a touristy part of Chattanooga.
In South Carolina, ten civilians were wounded as well as three law enforcement officers in a shooting at a Memorial Day evening street gathering in Charleston.
In Michigan, one young man was killed and six were injured after gunfire at a club and a liquor store in Benton Harbor.
In Chicago, there were at least two incidents over the weekend, including one near a closed elementary school in which the wounded included a 16-year-old girl. In total, Chicago saw 32 recorded gunfire incidents over the weekend. Nine died, and 47 were injured.
There were also multiple single-fatality shootings.
In Arkansas, a 7-year-old girl was killed near the Little Rock Zoo, in what police described as “an isolated event involving acquaintances.”
In Chicago, a young man was killed at an outdoor birthday party, and his body was laid on the sidewalk.
In the wake of the Uvalde shooting at the elementary school, opponents of tougher gun laws, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republicans both within Texas and across the nation, were quick to use examples of shootings elsewhere as evidence that gun measures do not work.
But their assertions are incredibly misleading, and specifically serve to oversimplify the situation.
In Chicago, for example, which has high rates of gun violence, many guns used in the Chicago shootings were initially bought outside of Illinois state. People go to states with less strict gun laws, including Indiana and Mississippi.