This Is Madness
Guns Have Killed At Least 125 Americans Since The Orlando Pulse Massacre
At least 125 people have already been killed by guns—and five mass shootings have taken place—since Omar Mateen shot up a nightclub early Sunday.
There has been no break in gun violence since the Orlando massacre. Since the Pulse nightclub mass shooting early Sunday, at least 125 people have died in shootings and 269 were injured by guns, statistics show.
Five of those incidents were mass shootings, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit tracking America’s gun violence.
The alleged motives behind the killings are startling.
On Monday night, a gunman and self-styled “sovereign citizen” allegedly shot and killed three men in West Virginia. Authorities say the suspect, Erick Shute, murdered the trio over a dispute over firewood, NJ.com reported.
Shute allegedly hid behind a tree and fatally blasted the men as they cleared wood and debris from a road near his secluded home, just outside Cacapon State Park. A fourth man escaped and dialed 911, according to NJ.com.
Gunfire also killed a 17-year-old girl Tuesday at a memorial service in Oakland, California. Reggina Jefferies joined about 3,000 people at a vigil for two teenage boys who drowned over Memorial Day weekend.
But Reggina would lose her own life that night—around 6 p.m., two gunmen fired into the crowd, killing Jefferies and injuring three others, NBC Bay Area reported. Witnesses said the bullets flew after a fight over a dice game, according to the TV station.
On Wednesday, a shooter murdered 46-year-old Robert Sowers, a chiropractor in Roy, Washington, before killing himself, police said. Authorities identified the gunman as Robert Knapp, the husband of a receptionist for Sowers, the News Tribune reported.
In Houston, Texas, a father allegedly shot and killed his wife and daughter during an argument, and later claimed self-defense to police.
Michael Ratliff, 44, told investigators he was home early Thursday when his relatives allegedly tried attacking him with knives, Click 2 Houston reported. When cops arrived around 3 a.m., they found the daughter dead at the scene. The wife had a bullet wound to the head and later died at the hospital, ABC 13 reported.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are scrambling to address America’s gun violence epidemic in wake of the country’s worst mass shooting in recent history: the massacre of 49 people inside a gay dance club last weekend.
As The Daily Beast previously reported, suspected terrorist Omar Mateen ambushed the Orlando club with a Sig Sauer .223 caliber assault rifle—purchased June 4 at a firearms shop near his Port St. Lucie home.
Shop owner Ed Henson, a former NYPD detective, said Mateen legally purchased the rifle and a handgun following a full background check, CBS News reported.
Mateen allegedly scoped out the Orlando hotspot before the bloodshed. Witnesses told the Orlando Sentinel that Mateen—who was, according to his own father, angered by the sight of two men kissing—visited the bar frequently.
He died following a three-hour standoff with police.
Doctors expect the Orlando death toll to rise following the slaying, which also injured 53 people. At a press conference Monday, one trauma surgeon cautioned that six patients remain in “critical” condition.
As authorities continue investigating the Florida shooting, lawmakers are eyeing tougher restrictions on firearms purchases.
Sen. Chris Murphy ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster after Republican leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on two proposed gun-control bills. The Democrat from Connecticut said a compromise had been reached early Thursday.
At stake are banning people on the terror watch list from obtaining gun licenses and expanding background checks to gun shows and internet sales, NBC News reported. “We did not have that commitment when we started today,” Murphy said during the 14-hour, 50-minute speech.
“I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of the ongoing slaughter of innocents, and I’ve had enough of inaction in this body,” he added.
So far this year, at least 288 have died in 182 mass shootings, according to data compiled by the Mass Shooting Tracker, a crowd-sourced website tracking incidents where four or more people are shot.
In 2015, 469 people died as a result of 371 mass shootings, compared to 364 people in 325 incidents the year before, data shows.