Following South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana, Mississippi is the latest state hit by high-profile gun violence after a professor allegedly killed his live-in girlfriend before fatally shooting a fellow professor on the campus of Delta State University.
Apart from that, in just three days, 12 people were killed and at least 43 – including a 4-year-old girl – were injured in shootings across Chicago during the Memorial Day weekend. The Fourth of July holidays were equally bloody for the city after firearms claimed 10 more lives and left 55 others wounded.
And as if these individual incidents weren’t enough to prove how prevalent gun violence is in the country, a chart included in a recent Center for American Progress report will shock you even more.
First reported by Mother Jones, the chart shows that the number of gun deaths – including murders, suicides and accidental shootings – in the United States since 1989 vastly outnumbers the number of American combat fatalities from the Revolutionary War through the conflicts fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Note: This doesn’t include the absolute total of U.S. military killed in wartime since 1776. That number is higher, at more than 1.1 million, according to estimates from the Department of Veterans Affairs.)
This isn’t the only damning report released this year about widespread gun violence in the U.S. As of May, 9,366 people have been injured by guns across the country since 2015 began – up from 7,145 last year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. In just five months, a total of 4,868 people have been killed – again a number more than 4,123 from last year.
“That number,” the Guardian noted, “includes 1,155 children and teens injured or killed and 486 instances of defensive gun use. In total, there have been 18,935 incidents of gun violence reported in 2015; among them, according to the gun-violence site, 1,705 were officer-involved shootings.”
And yet, after the two big Republican presidential debates, not one candidate has addressed the problem. Even Democrat hopefuls like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton do not appear keen on discussing it.
But it’s not like they can go on avoiding it. If these people plan to run the country someday, it’s not possible for them to ignore gun violence, which is one of the many issues central to the upcoming elections.