News reports say that eight people were shot and killed in a FedEx facility in Indianapolis Thursday night. The shooter apparently killed himself. It is another in a line of mass shootings that have happened in the past month. It also adds to a huge toll of gun violence that has pushed gun deaths to a 2021 total of 12,398.
Suicides make up the majority of gun violence deaths in America search year. According to the Gun Violence Archive, the gun suicide figure has reached 6,996 this year. Suicide was the 10th largest cause of death in the county last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the figure reached 44,834, down from 47,511 in 2019. Firearm suicides make up over half of the annual total of gun deaths each year.
The Gun Violence Archive distinguishes between mass shootings and mass murders. There have been 147 mass shootings this year and 11 mass murders. Mass shootings are defined as “FOUR or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location not including the shooter.” Mass murders are defined as “FOUR or more killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location not including the shooter.”
The most prevalent theory about America’s extraordinarily high gun violence figures compared to most other nations is easy access to guns. The New York Times reported: “The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns.” Over 30 million guns are sold each year in the United States. The Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey estimates that “American civilians own 393 million guns, ranking the U.S. number one in firearms per capita.”
The Gun Violence Archive puts gun deaths at about 40,000 each year for the past five years. There is no reason to believe that will change in 2021.