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A year in review: mass shootings in the United States

John Carroll students voice their distress about rampant gun violence.
A map of Lewiston, ME, where a mass shooting took place on Oct. 25, 2023.

Disclaimer: Sensitive and graphic details of gun violence are mentioned. Please read at your own discretion.

Throughout 2023, a series of mass shootings took place across the United States that claimed the lives of many innocent civilians. An article published by ABC News stated that over 40,000 people died from gun violence in America in 2023 alone at the hands of more than 632 mass shootings.

“I am horrified by the acceleration of gun violence and the number of mass shootings. It is becoming so common that people barely seem to bat an eye at the issue,” May Harding ‘24 said.“ I remember Sandy Hook in Connecticut because it was near my hometown. I can distinctly remember where I was and the hopelessness I felt as an eleven-year-old. Today, when mass shootings occur, it is difficult to keep track of all of the tragedies since they are relentlessly frequent.”

The Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine was the deadliest shooting of 2023 and totaled some of the most fatalities in recent decades. Here are some of the incidents that happened during the last year, listed in order by the number of deaths:

A shooting spree in Lewiston, ME, on Oct. 25 left 18 dead and 13 injured. As mentioned by The Guardian, the initial attack happened at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley where a youth sports league was competing. Soon after, the same gunman opened fire at Schemengees Bar & Grille. Lewiston officials placed the city under lockdown and urged citizens to shelter-in-place until the suspect was located. A couple of days after the shooting, the suspect’s body was found near a recycling center in the city of Lisbon.

On Jan. 21, 12 people died and nine were injured after a shooting that occurred at a dance studio in Monterey Park, CA. According to NPR, the suspect targeted two dance studios that were 30 minutes apart. The gunman first entered into Star Dance Studio. Shortly thereafter, he went to Lai Lai Ballroom where two civilians were able to wrestle the weapon out of his hands. When police pulled over the suspect’s van, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

On May 6, a gunman shot at people, cars and glass storefronts at the Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, TX, sending hundreds of shoppers scrambling for cover throughout the mall. In a span of four minutes, the suspect killed nine people and hurt seven others. AP noted that the person, who used an AR-15 style rifle to conduct the shooting, was fatally shot by a police officer.

A former student of Covenant School, a private academy located in Nashville, TN, fired through a door outside the school and began shooting on the institution’s second floor on March 27. The shooter killed seven people and injured one other. The author of the article published in The New York Times wrote that the suspect was killed by police after they arrived on scene.

Within three days of the Monterey Park shooting in California, another spree occurred in Half Moon Bay, CA on Jan. 23. According to NPR, a man shot and killed four workers and wounded a fifth at California Terra Garden. After that, he went to Concord Farms, a previous place of employment, where he killed three of his former co-workers. The suspect’s motive for this shooting was reportedly in response to an imposed $100 fee for a damaged forklift at his job. The shooter was taken into custody without incident.

AP stated that not even a week into 2024, a school shooting in Iowa occurred. On Jan. 4, a 17-year old opened fire in Iowa, killing a sixth grader and injuring five others. One of those wounded was the principal, who died a short time later. The shooter also died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Harding wanted to share this advice with The Carroll News for controlling gun violence. “If you see something, say something. If you attend a gun show you suspect is not following proper sales protocol, report the vendor and show organizers to the state commission or law enforcement.”

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About the Contributor
Amelia Marlow, Campus Culture Beat Reporter
Amelia Marlow is a beat reporter for the Campus and World sections of The Carroll News. She is from Madison, OH and a Junior at John Carroll University majoring in Communications (concentrating in Integrated Marketing) and double minoring in Leadership Development and Psychology. Amelia has been a member of The Carroll News staff since the start of her third year of college. In addition to writing for The Carroll News, Amelia plays the clarinet in four musical ensembles at John Carroll: Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band and a chamber group that performs at Sunday night mass. She is the President of the Pep Band and a member of the Improv Club. Amelia is also a librarian for JCU’s Department of Liturgical Music and Musical Arts and a Peer Learning Facilitator for the Communications major. Amelia will be a marketing intern for JCU’s Academic Success Center in the spring of 2024. When Amelia isn’t busy at John Carroll, she can be found sleeping, watching funny videos and game shows, coloring, completing jigsaw puzzles and spending time with friends and family. In the future, Amelia hopes to attend graduate school and is interested in pursuing a career somewhere in advertising, public relations or journalism. To contact Amelia, email her at [email protected].

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