The US will surpass 100 mass shootings in 2023 – each event is pictured here


Ron Adar // Shutterstock

The US will surpass 100 mass shootings in 2023 – each event is pictured here

A line of police tapes on a city street with cars and buildings in the background.

Since the beginning of 2023, there has been an average of more than one mass shooting per day in the United States. The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit group that tracks gun violence using police reports, government sources, news reporting, and other public data, counted 106 mass shootings on March 9, 2023 — a 68-day period.

There is currently no official, universal definition of what constitutes a mass shooting. Groups define it differently based on the number of victims, whether they are killed or injured, whether the shooting takes place in a public or private space, and whether the shooter is targeting victims. The Gun Violence Archive defines it as an event in which at least four people were killed or injured.

The lack of a consistent definition creates opportunities for people to interpret the data differently, making it difficult for lawmakers to produce a set of agreed facts on which to base the gun control issue.

For example, security specialists writing a 2013 Congressional report, using a much narrower definition of a mass shooting, identified only 78 mass shootings between 1983 and 2012. This number is in stark contrast to the 2014 GVA findings, which found that 273 mass shootings had occurred that year alone.

As for more recent numbers, the Gun Violence Archive recorded 647 mass shootings in the US in 2022. Compared to this time last year, mass shootings in 2023 are exceeding last year’s rate. Stacker cited data from the Gun Violence Archive to visualize the scope of mass shootings to date in 2023. Data as of March 7, 2023.

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Emma Rubin // Stacker

Mass shootings have happened in gun-friendly states — and some tougher ones

Map of mass shootings by location so far in 2023.

Some of the states that have seen mass shootings this year do not require gun owners to carry a concealed weapon. However, some of the most high-profile mass shootings of the year, such as those in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park, California, and Washington DC, took place in states with stricter gun laws.

Gun violence in the United States is a complex problem with many factors that go beyond state law. However, a 2022 study by Everytown for Gun Safety that compared state laws with incidences of gun violence shows a correlation between the two. States with the most restrictions on gun users also have the lowest gun-related death rates, while states with fewer regulations have higher gun-related death rates.

With 120 firearms per 100 people, the US is the only country in the world with more civilian guns than people, according to the 2018 Small Arms Survey.

Emma Rubin // Stacker

Mass shootings take place in almost all types of public and private spaces

Bar chart of mass shootings by date so far in 2023.

This year, gunmen have targeted people on college campuses, cultural celebrations, gas stations, homes, downtown areas, and even highways.

The single deadliest event to date remains the Jan. 21 shooting in Monterey Park, California, in which a gunman killed 11 and injured nine others at a dance hall in an Asian-American community during a New Year’s celebration.

Between February 17 and 19, nine mass shootings occurred — the most in a weekend in 2023. That weekend, nine children were shot dead at a Georgia gas station, six people were shot on I-57 in Chicago, including an infant was left dead, and five people, including a four-year-old, were shot dead at a parade in New Orleans.

According to a December 2022 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, firearms are the leading cause of death among people under the age of 24 in the United States.

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