Texas Shooting Is Another Gun Violence Tragedy In The United States
A shooting in Cleveland, Texas was the 149th mass shooting in 2019.
“A man suspected of shooting four people – one fatally – at two locations in Cleveland, Texas, fatally shot himself on Wednesday, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erik Burse,” CNN reported on Wednesday afternoon.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice provided several updates of the situation on their Facebook page yesterday:
An active search is underway after three people were shot inside B Dependable Plumbing Services in Cleveland, Texas this morning. One of the victims died at the scene and two others were taken to hospitals.
Police say the suspect is [name redacted]. He fled the scene and was confronted by officers near the Big Thicket Animal Hospital in Tarkington. Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Witten was shot in the neck. After being airlifted to a Houston area trauma center, he is in stable condition. TDCJ is aiding in the manhunt, with 31 scent dogs and 19 staff from 6 units involved in the search. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims in this tragedy. If you see the suspect, please call authorities immediately. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to confront him.
Several hours later they updated the situation after the suspect was found.
UPDATE: Scent dogs from the TDCJ Wynne Unit got a hit on the man wanted in connection with the shooting of multiple people including a Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy. Ten minutes later the suspect [name redacted] was located hiding under a boat. When confronted by officers the suspect shot himself. More information to come.
The Tragic Trend Of Mass Shootings In The United States
According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA); a non-profit organization formed in 2013 in order to track incidents of gun violence in the United States, the shooting in Cleveland, Texas was the 149th mass shooting in 2019. By their definition, a mass shooting is, “FOUR or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location not including the shooter.”
GVA data has tracked over 21,737 shooting incidents thus far in 2019, including 5,717 deaths. Out of the shootings, there have been more unintentional shootings (591) than defensive use incidents (565). Mass shootings over the past several years have been alarming high; 269 (2014), 335 (2015), 382 (2016), 346 (2017), 340 (2018).
Is Gun Legislation Oncoming?
With the continued influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) within the Republican party, it does not seem likely the right-wing of the United States will vote for reforms at the national or state level (in large enough quantities for legislation to pass).
Despite no movement along legislative grounds, a February 2018 poll from Quinnipiac showed support for Universal Background checks were at an all-time high among gun owners and voters in general:
American voters support stricter gun laws 66 – 31 percent, the highest level of support ever measured by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll, with 50 – 44 percent support among gun owners and 62 – 35 percent support from white voters with no college degree and 58 – 38 percent support among white men.
Today’s result is up from a negative 47 – 50 percent measure of support in a December 23, 2015, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll.
Support for universal background checks is itself almost universal, 97 – 2 percent, including 97 – 3 percent among gun owners. Support for gun control on other questions is at its highest level since the Quinnipiac University Poll began focusing on this issue in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre:
67 – 29 percent for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons;
83 – 14 percent for a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases. It is too easy to buy a gun in the U.S. today, American voters say 67 – 3 percent. If more people carried guns, the U.S. would be less safe, voters say 59 – 33 percent. Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence, voters say 75 – 17 percent.
Such numbers suggest politicians, especially within the Republican party, are not responding to the wishes of their constituents. However, due to framing and political messaging on other social issues, the party is able to bring their base to the polls during election season.