199. It’s a number that jumped out at me while watching NBC Nightly News last night.

According to Gun Violence Archive, there have been 199 mass shootings so far this year. 199. We haven’t even had that many days in 2023. (If you are wondering, we are at 128. I looked it up.)

The Gun Violence Archive describes a mass shooting as one that has at least four victims and not including the shooter.

The latest mass shooting happened at an outdoor mall in Allen, Texas. I know exactly where it is. I’ve been there several times. I will drive by it when I go to Paris, Texas, for a funeral this week.

Eight people were killed in that shooting. Seven injured. The stories from the survivors are harrowing. Hundreds of people were at that mall.

Police say the shooter pulled into the parking lot and just started shooting. He had multiple weapons on him. He probably would have killed more people if police hadn’t shot and killed him.

Now what? A recent Fox News poll shows most Americans are in favor of tougher gun laws. 87% favor tougher background checks. 81% favor raising the legal age to buy guns to 21. 81% favor enforcing existing gun laws.

The majority in the Fox poll also favor mental health checks, a thirty day waiting period to buy guns and flagging people who are a danger to themselves.

While many are calling for tougher gun laws, Texas Governor Greg Abbott says Texas won’t be enacting any new gun laws anytime soon. He says the focus should be on mental health instead.

Here in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a concealed carry bill into law. That means Floridians will soon be able to carry concealed weapons without a government issued permit.

No doubt more people will have guns. I am encouraged by the desire for knowledge and safety. My good friend Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister recently started a free gun safety training program. He’s also giving away trigger locks and vaults. The Sheriff can’t keep up with the demand.

I don’t have answers on what to do about this epidemic of gun violence in this country. The guns are already out there. Maybe better training and safety measures will help. Yes, addressing mental health issues should help too.

I can’t help but continue thinking about that number. 199 mass shootings in this country since the beginning of the year. It’s only May.

5 thoughts on “199.”
  1. So tragic. I’m not sure what the answer is either. More stringent gun laws and background checks for sure. But, criminals still seem to find a way. Safety training for sure. Armed officers at schools I believe would help.

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