Gun Violence
January 23, 2020

A woman in her 40s is dead and seven people wounded after multiple people fired guns during a dispute outside a McDonald's in the busiest part of downtown Seattle during rush hour on Wednesday, Seattle police said Wednesday night. Those injured include a woman in her 50s listed in critical condition and a 9-year-old boy, upgraded to satisfactory condition from serious, the Seattle Times reports.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said according to preliminary information, including security camera footage, multiple people fired shots just after 5 p.m. outside a McDonald's at Third Avenue and Pike Street, about two blocks from Pike Place Market. The shots sent people scurrying for cover in different directions, and it's unclear whether any of the injured people were involved in the dispute and how many suspects fled the scene, she said. "There were a lot of people outside, guns came out, and people started running," and "we responded immediately and we discovered victims at the scene in about a one-block radius."

"I am horrified and dismayed to hear about the shooting in Seattle tonight," Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said in a statement. "We grieve for the one individual confirmed dead in the shooting, and wish a full and speedy recovery to those who were injured." This was the third shooting in the area since Tuesday, when a man was found dying of a gunshot wound in the stairway of the Westlake Center mall, about block away from Wednesday evening's shooting. Earlier Wednesday, police shot and wounded a man reported to have a gun. Peter Weber

August 4, 2019

Enough. That was the refrain among 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls on Saturday following the news of a mass shooting in El Paso that resulted in at least 20 deaths. Several of the comments were made before a second mass shooting claimed at least nine lives in Dayton early Sunday.

Most of the candidates were gathered in Nevada to address the country's largest public employees union, but the conversation quickly turned to the harrowing events in El Paso. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) put Republican Senate leadership and the National Rifle Association on blast, respectively, for holding up any legislation that would alter gun laws. Former Vice President Joe Biden called America's mass shootings "a sickness," while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said that, if elected, she would issue an executive order within her first 100 days in office to impose gun control.

Perhaps no candidate was as deeply affected by the shooting as former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), who hails from El Paso. O'Rourke reportedly appeared visibly shaken while addressing the union in Nevada and later suspended campaigning to fly back to El Paso. "I believe in this country," he said. "I believe, at the end of the day, we're going to be able to get this done, but it's going to be because of those people who force it to get done."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) added her voice to the call for change, alluding to both shootings.

President Trump offered condolences to the people of El Paso and Dayton, calling the first incident "an act of cowardice," before condemning it. The president did not mention anything about gun legislation. Read more at The Associated Press. Tim O'Donnell

August 4, 2019

Two mass shootings occurred in the United States in the span of a harrowing 13 hours on Saturday and Sunday.

The first took place in El Paso where a 21-year-old gunman identified as Patrick Crusius allegedly shot and killed at least 20 people and wounded at least 26 others in a crowded Walmart in the border city. The suspect was taken into custody by police and authorities said they are investigating an anti-immigrant manifesto posted online describing an attack in response to "the Hispanic invasion of Texas," which may have been written by Crusius, who is white.

Hours later, at least nine people were killed and 26 others were injured after a shooting in Dayton early on Sunday morning. The suspect, who was wearing body armor and has yet to be identified, was reportedly shot and killed by police.

Police believe the suspect acted alone, but the investigation is ongoing with help from the FBI. The shooting took place around 1 a.m. on Sunday in Dayton's Oregon District, a popular downtown area. The incident was reportedly over quickly, despite the high number of casualties, because officers were already patrolling the area when the gunshots began.

The shootings, which were reportedly the 21st and 22nd mass killings in the U.S. in 2019, occurred six days after a gunman killed three people at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California. Tim O'Donnell

February 6, 2019

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) asked that the fathers of two Parkland shooting victims be removed from a House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, after they protested his remarks about guns and undocumented immigrants.

During the hearing Wednesday, Gaetz, who received $2,500 from the National Rifle Association during the 2018 election cycle, said that he hopes "we do not forget the pain, and anguish, and sense of loss felt by those all over the country who have been the victims of violence at the hands of illegal aliens," and he argued that building a wall along the southern border would be more effective than enacting background checks.

Sitting in the audience were Manuel Oliver and Fred Guttenberg, who immediately protested Gaetz's remarks. Oliver's son, Joaquin, was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February, as was Guttenberg's daughter, Jaime. "Manny stood up and said, 'That's a lie, that's not true,'" Guttenberg told HuffPost. "I yelled out that our children were killed by an American male. Mr. Gaetz didn't care for our truth and made an inquiry to see if we could be kicked out."

Oliver and Guttenberg were both given a warning against interrupting the hearing. Guttenberg said he found Gaetz's behavior "disgusting, despicable, and vile. But I'm actually thrilled Mr. Gaetz acted like Mr. Gaetz. I think it was wonderful for the American people to see who he is as a person." Catherine Garcia

December 14, 2018

Gun deaths in the U.S. reached their highest point in nearly 40 years in 2017, according to a CNN analysis of a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC's data showed that nearly 40,000 people died by gun last year, CNN reports, which is up from 28,874 in 1999. CNN's analysis also found that more than 23,000 people died from suicide by guns, which is the highest rate in 18 years.

The report found that white men led the gender and racial demographics for gun deaths by suicide, and black men led in homicide deaths.

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), who was nearly killed in 2011 due to a gun wound, released a statement reacting to the CDC's report.

"This data from the CDC reminds us how many lives our gun violence crisis alters every year – and why so many Americans are rising up to demand action," Giffords said. "It's unacceptable that the number of deaths from shootings keeps escalating while Washington, D.C. refuses to even debate policies we know would help save lives." Marianne Dodson

June 12, 2018

Protesters staged a "die-in" in Washington on Tuesday to commemorate the second anniversary of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The demonstration was a call for legislation to prevent gun violence, The Hill reports.

The demonstration was led by an activist group that stages "die-ins" to call attention to deadly violence and protest the "lethal legislative inaction" that allows it to continue. Protesters at the die-in on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., laid on the ground for 12 minutes, or 720 seconds, to represent the number of victims who have died in mass shootings in the last two years, since a gunman killed 49 people at Pulse on June 12, 2016. Other demonstrators staged die-ins around the country, including outside President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

"I'm here for Pulse, I'm here for Stoneman Douglas, I'm here for every single mass shooting since, and every single mass shooting that is going to continue until we do something," said Matt Deitsch, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Deitsch and other activists, including other Parkland survivors who co-founded the March For Our Lives movement, have begun using die-ins to advocate for gun control and legislation like universal background checks. "If [lawmakers] can sell themselves out with constituents dying, that's pretty sad and they're cowards," said Nurah Abdulhaqq, a founder of the National Die-In movement. Read more at The Hill. Summer Meza

May 30, 2018

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders might have hoped a student journalist who attended Wednesday's White House press briefing would go easy on her — instead, he delivered the toughest question of the day.

"One thing that affects my and other students' mental health is the worry about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school," began the student. "Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?"

The question stood in stark contrast to what Sanders brought up, the "Bring Your Kids to Work Day" press briefing where she was asked about President Trump's favorite candy. Sanders, who has three children, choked up while answering the young reporter.

"I think that as a kid, and certainly as a parent, there is nothing that could be more terrifying for a kid to go to school and not feel safe, so I'm sorry that you feel that way," said Sanders. "This administration takes it seriously, and the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting this week to discuss the best ways forward and how we can do every single thing within our power to protect kids in our schools." Watch the exchange below, via CNN. Summer Meza

May 18, 2018

Just one day before a shooter entered Santa Fe High School in Texas and killed 10, a survivor of another recent school shooting made a statement that now sounds like a foreboding premonition.

David Hogg, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who survived the deadly shooting there in February, spoke at the Education Writers Association's national seminar Thursday.

"We shouldn't be living in an America where we learn to accept these things and they continue to happen," said Hogg of gun violence in schools. "It's terrifying to me because right now, what keeps me up at night is thinking that there's somebody alive right now that will not be alive at this time tomorrow."

Since the February shooting at his school in Parkland, Florida, Hogg has entered the national spotlight to advocate for stronger gun laws to prevent future violence. He appeared on the panel alongside other activists: Emma González, a fellow Parkland student; Alex King, who lost a nephew to gun violence; and Jackson Mittleman, who survived the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

In Hogg's hypothetical prediction, he said that the person killed within the next day likely had "never even thought about gun violence. But everybody around them will have to for the rest of their lives." Watch the full seminar at Education Week. Summer Meza

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