The United States is averaging nearly two mass shootings a day, with the latest taking place at a Walmart in Virginia on Tuesday night. Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE
Nov. 23 (UPI) -- When a Walmart employee walked into a break room with a pistol and started shooting his fellow employees, it was another in a long line of massacres, as the number of such events nearly double the number of days this year.
The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as four or more people being shot or killed, not including the shooter. Tuesday night's shooting in Chesapeake, Va., that killed six people became the 606th mass shooting in 2022.
Nearly 40,000 people have been killed this year as a result of gun violence as mass shootings have permeated all areas of life, from schools to grocery stores to holiday celebrations.
Just before Tuesday night's massacre in Walmart, the nation was still reeling from a shooting in a gay Colorado nightclub that erupted just before midnight on Sunday. Five people were killed and another 25 were wounded during that episode.
The mass casualty event occurred at Club Q, which until recently was the only LGBTQ+ nightclub in the city of 484,000 residents.
The suspect began shooting upon entering the club, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said two "heroic" people fought with him and were able to stop him from killing and hurting others before officers arrived.
"Colorado Springs is once again in mourning after the tragic shooting at Club Q late last night," Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to the victims and their families who are bearing the weight of this horrific tragedy."
Perhaps the most infamous massacre occurred in May when a gunman opened fire at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, leaving 19 students and at least two adults dead. The police have faced heavy criticism for their inaction while the shooting happened.
A report by a Texas House Committee found that 376 law enforcement officers -- a force larger than the garrison that defended the Alamo -- descended upon the school in a chaotic, uncoordinated scene that lasted for more than an hour. The group was devoid of clear leadership, basic communications and sufficient urgency to take down the gunman.
Some of the mass shootings have been racially motivated. Just a few days before the shooting in Uvalde, an 18-year-old white man, identified as Payton Gendron, fatally shot 10 people in a Buffalo grocery store. In July Gendron was indicted on 27 counts of federal hate crimes. Authorities said Gendron had posted a manifesto online that allegedly made numerous racist and anti-immigration remarks.
The following month, in June, a shooting at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., left four people dead. The shooter also died by suicide. Tulsa police Capt. Richard Meulenberg said the shooting broke out in the afternoon at the Natalie Medical Building at the hospital. A police officer inside the building at the time said the shooting happened on a lower level.
Even Fourth of July celebrations could not stop the spate of mass shootings. A gunman, identified as Robert "Bobby" Crimo, opened fire from a rooftop and shot and killed seven people during a Fourth of July parade in Illinois. However, there were many other gun incidents that weekend.
Police also confirmed that three people died and another seven were injured in an overnight shooting in Gary, Ind.
In New York City, authorities said two people were killed in a shooting near a deli in Brooklyn. A third victim was reported to be in critical condition.
In Philadelphia, two police officers were wounded by gunfire during July 4 celebrations.
An October shooting in Raleigh, N.C., left five people dead and two others wounded. One of those killed in that shooting was an off-duty police officer. Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said that much more needed to be done across the country.
"We must stop this mindless violence in America. We must address gun violence," she said. "We have much to do, and tonight we have much to mourn."
Mass shootings have also hit college campuses. Earlier this month a former member of the University of Virginia football team shot and killed three other football players on a bus.
"I am heartbroken to report that the shooting has resulted in three fatalities," University President Jim Ryan wrote in a tweet. "This is a message any leader hopes never to have to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia."
After the Colorado Springs shooting, President Joe Biden issued yet another call for gun reform, which Republicans in Congress have repeatedly failed to address despite the massacres.
"Today, yet another community in America has been torn apart by gun violence. More families left with an empty chair at the table and hole in their lives that cannot be filled," he said. "When will we decide we've had enough? We must address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms."