The US saw a shocking number of mass shootings over the last weekend, as at least nine took place across the country, including the largest-scale mass shooting in more than two years.
A nation-wide issue
A mass shooting is commonly defined as an incident in which four or more people are shot.
A gunfight that broke out at a car show in Arkansas left one person dead and 27 injured – the most people wounded in a mass shooting event in the US since 2019, CNN reported.
In Virginia, an argument outside a pizzeria resulted in a shooting killing two people, including a 25-year-old reporter who was a bystander. Four others suffered gunshot wounds in downtown Austin, Texas, during a film and music festival.
At least six other mass shootings occurred last weekend, leaving a total of eight people dead and more than 60 injured.
‘Weekend violence’ has been on the increase in the US since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and there are no signs of it slowing. Homicide has risen by over 30% since 2019, now at the highest rate in more than two decades. A rise in gun sales has also been observed during the pandemic.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, at least 107 mass shootings have unfolded so far this year in the US.
In the wake of two shootings last weekend, the mayor of Miami Beach Dan Gelber is desperate imposed a midnight curfew. “We can’t endure this anymore, we just simply can’t,” Gelber said.
Experts point out that social isolation and frustration caused by the pandemic might have caused this rise in violence, while a sense of lawlessness from police violence might also be one of the reasons.
Social isolation makes some people act out in frustration and a broader sense of disorder can create a ‘moral holiday’, The Atlantic reported.
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However, the fact remains that the crime wave is limited to the US. Europe, Canada and Japan haven’t noted an increase in violent crime and some countries even reported a drop in crime rates during Covid-19.