Uvalde massacre is among the 200+ mass shootings recorded in the US so far this year

In the first 5 months of 2022, 21 mass shootings have taken place in Texas

Crime scene tape surrounds Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of grade schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing at least 19 fourth-graders and their two teachers. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Jae C. Hong, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Read the latest information about the Uvalde school shooting here. Learn about the victims of Robb Elementary School here.

Mass shootings aren’t uncommon in the United States: In the first five months of 2022 alone, the nation has recorded 213 of them.

Of those, 21 have taken place in Texas, resulting in 45 deaths and more than 100 injuries, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Two of the deadliest mass shootings this year happened just days apart this month.

The issue of gun violence was once again thrust into the spotlight following the news of a massacre at Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.

It was supposed to be a casual day during the last week of the school year, but it turned into terror when an 18-year-old man opened fire and killed 21 people. The victims included two fourth-grade teachers and 19 of their students, authorities have said. The shooter was eventually killed by law enforcement after he barricaded himself in the classroom.

The shooting in Uvalde is considered the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December of 2012. It is the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

A motive hasn’t been disclosed, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, didn’t have a known history of mental illness or criminal activity.

However, classmates told ABC News he expressed aggressive behavior and posted violent material on social media.

Another mass shooting — the second-deadliest shooting this year was fueled by racism, authorities previously said.

Just 10 days before the Uvalde shooting, 10 Black people were killed when a white gunman wearing body armor and a helmet-mounted camera targeted shoppers and workers at Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Federal authorities are investigating it as a hate crime.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, a mass shooting is when four or more people are shot and killed, excluding the gunman.

Mass shootings in 2022. (Gun Violence Archive)

At this rate, the nation is averaging 10 mass shootings a week, which would be on par with 2021, according to NPR. The U.S. recorded 693 mass shootings last year, 611 in 2020, and 417 in 2019, the radio network reported.

But as the horror in Uvalde plunges the U.S. into another debate over gun violence, Texas and the state’s Republican-controlled government have by now demonstrated what is likely to happen next: virtually nothing that would restrict gun access.

The Mayor of Uvalde Don McLaughlin said instead of gun control, the focus should be on resources for mental health.

Lawmakers are unlikely to adopt any significant new limits on guns. Last year, gun laws were actually loosened after a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist 2019 attack that targeted Hispanics.

“I can’t wrap my head around it,” said state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district includes Uvalde. “It’s disturbing to me as a policymaker that we have been able to do little other than create greater access to these militarized weapons to just about anyone who would want them.”

The cycle in Texas — a mass shooting followed by few if any new restrictions on guns — mirrors GOP efforts to block stricter laws in Congress and the ensuing outrage from Democrats and supporters of tougher gun control.

President Joe Biden angrily made a renewed push Tuesday evening after the tragedy in Uvalde.

“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” he asked in an address from the White House.

The shooting in Texas happened days before the National Rifle Association is set to hold its annual meeting in Houston, where Abbott and other Republican leaders are scheduled to speak.

Abbott, who is up for reelection in November, said the shooting in Uvalde was carried out “horrifically, incomprehensibly” on children. He did not immediately say how or whether Texas would respond to this latest mass shooting on a policy level, but since he became governor in 2015, the state has only gotten more relaxed when it comes to gun laws.

Exactly one year before the Uvalde shooting, the GOP-controlled Legislature voted to remove one of the last major gun restrictions in Texas: required licenses, background checks and training for the nearly 1.6 million registered handgun owners in the state at the time.

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About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.