The Staggering Number Of Deaths Caused By Mass Shootings In Texas Since 2018

Mass shootings in the U.S. are a contentious issue and finding a solution to the problem is a matter of much debate, as The Washington Post explains. Though there are few firm definitions, the nonprofit research group Gun Violence Archive calls any incident a mass shooting during which time four or more people are killed by a firearm, not including the shooter. Meanwhile, the FBI defines a mass shooting as any occurrence when three or more people are killed at one time. Regardless of how exactly a mass shooting is defined, what's known for certain is that rates of such tragic occurrences in the U.S. are the highest among all other developed nations, and nowhere more so than in the state of Texas, based on data from World Population Review.

Notably, firearm-related fatalities of any kind is a problem throughout the U.S. As of this report, firearm-related homicide rates in the U.S. have risen to their highest point in two decades, per CBS News reporting. The outlet ranks Texas exactly in the middle at No. 26, as far as gun-related homicide per capita.

One type of gun violence of particular note in the Lone Star State, though, is mass shootings, as provisional data from World Population Review reveals. What's more, the mass shooting problem predates the overall uptick in gun violence across the U.S. Here's a closer look at the mass shooting issue in Texas dating back to 2018, with some information about what Texas lawmakers have done to address the issue.

Mass shootings in Texas were at their worst in 2019

As can be seen, the number of citizens killed in mass shootings per month has spiked markedly at certain points in Texas over the last four years, beginning in the spring of 2018, and reaching a high point of roughly 35 people killed during the summer of 2019. Those numbers dropped somewhat during the pandemic but rose once more in the spring and summer of 2022.

According to provisional data from World Population Review, Texas had the fourth-worst rate of mass shootings in 2022 — trailing only California, Illinois, and Florida — with 129 isolated mass shooting incidents, compared to the roughly 2,100 mass shootings that took place across the country in total for the year. Contributing to Texas' 2022 numbers was the Uvalde elementary school shooting, where 19 students and two adults were killed and many more were injured (via The New York Times).

That said, Texas gun laws received a failing grade from the Gifford Law Center, while California received an "A" and Florida ranked near the middle. Though generally speaking states with stricter gun laws have fewer mass shootings, according to the medical journal The BMJ (as can be seen in the journal's state-by-state comparison), reconsidering gun law legislation is likely just one part of the solution to the complicated mass shooting issue, per NPR.

Understandably, the mass shooting issue in Texas is a matter of vigorous disagreement. Generally speaking, state leaders have chosen to approach the problem from a mental health perspective rather than increased firearm regulation, as ABC News reports.