Guns in 2018: The Carnage Continues

A look at the Gun Violence Archive findings for the year

Guns in 2018: The Carnage Continues

The new year provides a reflective moment for one of the Chronicle's periodic visits to the Gun Violence Archive. The GVA is nonprofit, non-advocacy, and a thoroughly quixotic effort to compile accurate statistics on the toll that legal and readily available firearms impose on a credulous American public easily distracted by the phantom threat of desperate Central American refugees. Here are a few of the headline GVA numbers for 2018 (confirmed as of Jan. 2 and including New Year's Eve incidents):

Gun violence incidents: 56,754

Deaths: 14,596

Injuries: 28,148

Children (age 0-11) killed or injured: 665

Teens (age 12-17) killed or injured: 2,825

Mass shootings (4 or more killed or injured, not including the shooter): 340

Those are just highlighted numbers, and the GVA summary statistics do not include suicides by gun (which average about 22,000 yearly) or unintended gun injuries (about 12,000 yearly, though data is lacking).

Closer to home, in 2018 there were 16 mass shootings in Texas, the most notorious being the May 18 attack at Santa Fe High School that left 10 people dead and 13 injured. That overshadowed the May 16 family violence in Ponder (near Denton), where a man shot his ex-wife, killed his three children and another man, then killed himself. There were five dead in a July 27 Robstown shooting, and four dead and another injured on Oct. 13 in Taft – the latter group all family members celebrating a child's first birthday.

The database shows 10 incidents within the last 30 days in Austin, comprising five injuries and one death (Eric Allen, shot Dec. 23 in North Austin, apparently by a girlfriend). The most recent mass shooting incident in Austin appears to have been Nov. 4, 2017, on North Lamar (a suspect shooting at random cars with an assault rifle, critically injuring a 7-year-old and wounding three others); there was another a few days earlier, Oct. 29, on Ave. F (a man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire at a Halloween party, killing Michael McCloskey and wounding three others). Note that the 2018 Austin bombings, which drew worldwide attention, killed two and injured three, not including the perpetrator – but these similarly sanguineous gun incidents are, for the most part, long-forgotten.

The Archive compiles gun violence statistics from published reports covering the whole U.S., summarizing each incident, providing sources, and adding various summary reports with more info and analysis. The database is overwhelming yet fascinating in its sheer numbers and detail and worth a periodic, sobering visit for anyone interested in the ongoing American carnage. (A related site is The Trace, which provides interactive maps of the GVA statistics: www.thetrace.org.) "GVA is not, by design, an advocacy group," the mission statement reports. "The mission of GVA is to document incidents of gun violence and gun crime nationally to provide independent, verified data to those who need to use it in their research, advocacy, or writing."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Michael King
Congressional Candidates Begin to Multiply
Congressional Primary Filings
Six Austin districts pointing to March primaries

June 14, 2019

Mixed-Use Riverside Project Moves Forward
Mixed-Use Riverside Project Moves Forward
Planning Commission recommends rezoning to Council

June 14, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Gun Violence Archive, gun violence

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle