Tragic Wave of Mass Shootings Mark U.S. Independence Day


 Screams and cries at scenes of bloodshed drowned out the celebration drumbeat for “Born on the Fourth of July” as three separate mass shootings killed 10 people and wounded nearly 40 others around U.S. Independence Day.

This “wave of tragic and senseless shootings,” as U.S. President Joe Biden put it on Tuesday, came amid a recent national burst of gun violence, a grim reminder that the disturbing, complex human rights issue continues at the detriment of ordinary Americans.


At least three people were killed and eight others injured in a shooting just before midnight on Monday in downtown Fort Worth, south-central U.S. state of Texas.

The victims were 10 adults and a juvenile, the Fort Worth Police Department said Tuesday.

Philadelphia also confronted a mass shooting on Monday night, with four people killed and four others injured. A suspect is in custody, local media reported.

At least two juveniles were among those shot, but their conditions were not immediately known.

In another mass shooting incident early Sunday, two people were killed and 28 others injured in Baltimore, the most populous city in the state of Maryland.

An 18-year-old female was pronounced deceased on scene, and a 20-year-old male was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later, according to the Baltimore Police Department.

“This tragedy again shows why we must continue to focus on the number of illegal guns on our streets that make it into the hands of individuals who should not have them and continuously carry out violent acts in our city,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott.

People mourn victims near the site of a shooting in Fort Worth, Texas, the United States, on July 4, 2023. (Photo by Dan Tian/Xinhua)


It was not the first time ravaging gun violence cast a pall over U.S. Independence Day. As gun-related death rates continue to rise each year in the United States, Americans increasingly see gun violence as an issue of national concern.

Over the past decade, the country has encountered five mass shootings each Independence Day on average — more than on any other day of the year, USA Today reported last week.

This year’s holiday came as the United States grapples with historically elevated levels of gun violence, which surged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far this year, there have been at least 341 mass shootings across the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The nonprofit group defines a mass shooting as an incident where at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.

Seven out of 10 Americans say crime is “out of control” in the United States, according to a June USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll of 1,000 residents.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that over the weekend of June 17-18, gun violence ravaged the United States, including at least 60 shots in the Chicago area alone.

That weekend also witnessed four people shot dead in the small town of Kellogg, Idaho. A Pennsylvania state trooper was slain and a second critically wounded after an ambush at a police barracks by a man, who was then killed in a gun battle.

A woman mourns victims near the site of a shooting in Fort Worth, Texas, the United States, on July 4, 2023. (Photo by Dan Tian/Xinhua)

Poverty, unemployment and an inadequate social safety net have left many angry and alienated, leading relationships to fray and tensions to flare, said UC Berkeley law Professor Jonathan Simon, adding that escalations of assaults and shootings can have ripple effects for years.

A recent Pew Research study found that while views about gun ownership and gun policy remain starkly divided along party lines, a majority of 60 percent of Americans surveyed viewed gun violence as a “very big” national issue, up 7 percentage points from 2018.

Debates over gun policy have waxed and waned in the United States over the years, as Democrats generally favor more gun control while most Republicans argue that gun rights should not be infringed upon.

Those starkly divisive issues have triggered frequent mass shootings across American states and cities, deepening social divisions and raising human rights concerns.

“We have completely jumped the shark as a nation,” David Axelrod, a renowned American political strategist and commentator, tweeted earlier in May.

“The world looks at us in absolute bewilderment as we slaughter each other with guns, and throw our hands up in resignation,” Axelrod wrote. “It’s pathetic.”