Through the first six months of 2022, there were a total of 297 mass shootings reported by Gun Violence Archive. These resulted in a total of 1,617 casualties, with 325 of those being fatalities. Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia each encountered at least one mass shooting incident.
What is a Mass Shooting?
Due to the varied coverage – generally only certain mass shooting events make the national headlines – there is a lot of confusion over what a mass shooting actually is. While there is no specific definition for a mass shooting, many news outlets and others have developed their own definition based on the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012.
The Act defines a mass killing as “three or more killings in a single incident.” This has been extrapolated by many to conclude that, if a mass killing involves three or more fatalities, then a mass shooting event would include three or more casualties, either injuries, fatalities, or a combination. Some, such as CNN and Gun Violence Archive, have taken this a bit further and defined that a mass shooting event must include four or more victims.
Nationwide coverage of horrific events such as those that have occurred this year in Buffalo, Tulsa, and Uvalde have many believing that the number of casualties for an event to be considered a mass shooting incident is much higher than three or four. So, when it is reported that there were almost 300 mass shooting incidents in the first half of the year, many people envision that more of these events are more horrific than they truly are.
The brutal scenes of those highly-publicized events are extremely rare, even though any incident is a tragedy. While data is still being gathered, the majority of the mass shooting events are isolated in nature and generally the result of some sort of altercation between the parties involved. Presently, Southside Matt is engaged in a project to retrieve information regarding each of the mass shooting events directly from police and sheriff departments to be able to provide the exact figures in time. The information being gathered includes the types of guns used, the suspected or determined motives, whether the shooters were prohibited from possessing or using the guns, and whether the guns were illegally modified or stolen.
The numbers of incidents and casualties, though, have been able to be gathered. Those have been compiled to determine the lists below ranking cities and states by the numbers. Below are the “Top 10” lists for each of these categories, with a link below the tables to be directed to the full listings.
Top 10 States with most incidents
- Texas - 29 incidents
- California - 24 incidents
- Illinois - 21 incidents
- Louisiana - 18 incidents
- South Carolina/Pennsylvania/Florida - 14 incidents each
- Georgia - 12 incidents
- New York/Michigan - 11 incidents each
- Maryland - 10 incidents
Top 10 States with most casualties (fatalities and injuries combined)
- Texas - 190 casualties
- California - 134 casualties
- Illinois - 102 casualties
- Louisiana - 97 casualties
- South Carolina - 80 casualties
- Pennsylvania - 77 casualties
- New York - 66 casualties
- Florida - 63 casualties
- Georgia - 60 casualties
- Michigan - 49 casualties
Top 10 States with most fatalities
- Texas - 56 fatalities
- California - 40 fatalities
- New York - 17 fatalities
- Maryland - 16 fatalities
- Illinois - 15 fatalities
- Virginia - 14 fatalities
- Pennsylvania - 13 fatalities
- Georgia - 11 fatalities
- Michigan/Colorado - 10 fatalities each
Top 10 Cities with most incidents
- Chicago, IL - 17 incidents
- Philadelphia, PA - 11 incidents
- Baltimore, MD - 8 incidents
- San Antonio & Houston, TX/Miami, FL - 6 incidents each
- New Orleans, LA - 5 incidents
- Milwaukee, WI/Phoenix, AZ/Washington, DC/Colorado Springs, CO/Atlanta, GA - 4 incidents each
Top 10 Cities with most casualties (fatalities and injuries combined)
- Chicago, IL - 83 casualties
- Philadelphia, PA - 57 casualties
- Uvalde, TX - 39 casualties
- Baltimore, MD - 33 casualties
- Milwaukee, WI - 32 casualties
- Phoenix, AZ - 30 casualties
- San Antonio, TX - 29 casualties
- Sacramento, CA/Dallas, TX/Dumas, AR - 27 casualties each
Top 10 Cities with most fatalities
- Uvalde, TX - 22 fatalities
- Sacramento, CA - 12 fatalities
- Baltimore, MD - 11 fatalities
- Chicago, IL/Buffalo, NY - 10 fatalities each
- Philadelphia, PA - 9 fatalities
- Corsicana, TX - 8 fatalities
- San Antonio & Houston, TX/Milwaukee, WI/Centerville, TX - 6 fatalities each
Find the full lists here. File is in Microsoft Excel and will download from the link.
Each event brings tragedy in some form or fashion to a family or group of families. With that, Congress attempted to take quick, reactive action and to call for action on so-called assault weapons. The House of Representatives in the waning days of July passed a bill attempting to ban such weapons.
As with the term "mass shooting," there has not yet been a clear, unified definition of the term "assault weapon." The result of this is that the factors used to determine whether weapons should be banned often end up including hunting rifles and guns that are used for personal protection. This is the fact that often leads to disputes over attempts to enforce gun measures in the effort to make communities safer.
As more data is gathered, proper analysis will lead to more narrowly targeted efforts to lower these rates of mass shootings while protecting the rights of those who own, possess, and use guns legally and properly.