According to data collected by the Gun Violence Archive, at least 150 people across the U.S were killed by gun violence in more than 400 shootings over the Fourth of July weekend.
The data also shows that 2021 is on track to exceed the violent surge that made 2020 the deadliest year of gun violence in decades.
There were fourteen mass shootings, defined by the Gun Violence Archive as when 4 or more people (excluding the shooter) are shot or killed, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. This was more than any other weekend so far this year.
In 2021, there have been 336 mass shootings, twenty of which occurred in July, roughly around 2 every day this year. In total, there were more than 400 shootings and at least 150 deaths from gun violence over the holiday weekend.
Major cities claimed to be the culprit of the mass crime, with twenty-six fatalities in New York and fourteen in Chicago. These figures include 4 children who were shot in Virginia on Friday and 8 people who were hospitalized in a shooting near a car wash in Texas.
Nevertheless, records on mass shootings in the U.S remain patchy as the FBI does not track them and there is no agreed-upon definition. The FBI does track mass murders, however, though this misses a great deal of gun violence.
The Gun Violence Archive has been tracking mass shootings since 2013, with 2020 recording one of the deadliest years in decades, with nearly 20,000 killed by gun violence. A further 24,000 people died that year by suicide with a gun.
Experts suggest that it is increased civil unrest, interrupting court and police operations during the pandemic, and deepening inequalities which are possible contributing factors to the rising violence numbers. Gun sales also spiked over the pandemic, including some 300,000 who may have bought them without background checks.
There have now been 20 mass shootings in July, 336 on the year. The 14 mass shootings over this past holiday weekend (Friday to Sunday) are the most of any weekend in 2021. https://t.co/ApCx8x6bfO
— Gun Violence Archive (@GunDeaths) July 5, 2021
As of writing, 10,318 people have died by gun violence in 2021 so far, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
154 of these were children between the ages of 0 to eleven and 629 were teenagers aged between twelve and seventeen.
In late June, President Biden set out plans to tackle gun violence with a key focus on trafficking in regions like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
"Crime historically rises during the summer, and as we emerge from this pandemic, with the country opening back up again, the traditional summer spike may be more pronounced than it usually would be," he said. "I've been at this a long time, and there are things we know that reduce gun violence and violent crime, and things we don't know."
"Background checks for purchasing a firearm are important... the ban on assault weapons at high-capacity magazines. No one needs to have a weapon that can fire up to 100 rounds unless you think the deer are wearing Kevlar vests or something," he added.
"If you willfully sell a gun to someone who is prohibited from possessing it, if you willfully fail to run a background check, if you willfully falsify a record, if you willfully fail to cooperate with the tracing requests or inspections, my message to you is this... We'll find you and we'll seek your license to sell guns."