As residents in Uvalde, Texas, were burying their children and loved ones this week, Americans in three separate states watched shootings unfold simultaneously in the latest deadly spate of gun violence that has become a uniquely American problem.
Four people were killed in a shooting at a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday. Police said a gunman carrying a rifle and a handgun opened fire on a hospital campus just before 5 p.m. local time, wounding several others before the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Just before, the Los Angeles Police Department said shots were fired outside Grant High School in the Van Nuys neighborhood. Authorities said an unknown gunman fired three or four shots from a vehicle. A 10th grader was shot in the leg and taken to the hospital. The extent of injuries was unclear.
Across the country, police said a 20-year-old woman was shot at a nail salon in Pittston Township, Pennsylvania, in what police said was an “attempted homicide.” The woman was taken to an area hospital, and the extent of her injuries was unknown. A suspect was in custody later Wednesday evening.
Those were just three incidents among many each day in the United States. Every day, more than 110 people are killed with guns and more than 200 Americans are wounded, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.
The shootings Wednesday come just over a week after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, killing 19 children and two teachers before he was killed by police. Parents have been burying their kids in customized caskets, and family members of a teacher and her husband, who died of a heart attack two days after she was killed, said goodbye on Wednesday.
Democratic lawmakers have renewed calls for Congress to pass gun reform legislation after the Uvalde attack, the deadliest school shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. But Republicans have so far resisted such proposals, including enhanced background checks or a law that would raise the federal age requirement for licensed shotgun and rifle sales from 18 to 21.
“I got my first rifle for Christmas when I was 14,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) told HuffPost last week. “You know, I think this is just not the time to be trying to change major policies. I think this is the time to mourn with the people that have lost loved ones, to reflect and to try to figure out what’s really causing these. And I don’t think we’ve done that yet.”
Instead, many top Republicans in Texas, most visibly Sen. Ted Cruz, have homed in on proposals to fortify schools or arm teachers as remedies to the gun violence.
Republican inaction hasn’t stopped other nations from acting. Canada said it would move to freeze handgun sales and buy back assault-style weapons. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was “no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives,” adding that proposed legislation would effectively cap the market for handguns and make it “illegal to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada.”
“We need only look south of the border to know that if we do not take action, firmly and rapidly, it gets worse and worse and more difficult to counter,” Trudeau told reporters this week, according to The New York Times.
With a week gone by since the Uvalde shooting and the victims’ funerals just beginning, the United States has already seen a slew of other mass shootings.
The Gun Violence Archive, which tracks shootings with at least four victims, has documented at least 20 since the May 24 attack.