The recent mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida makes the 17th such mass shooting incident in the state since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February.
Shots rang out at approximately 1:30 PM local time at the Chicago Pizza restaurant at Jacksonville Landing during a video game tournament. The shooter was identified as a 24-year-old man participating in the competition. Two people were killed, and nine others were injured. The gunman shot himself after carrying out the shooting. It’s not immediately known what type of weapon was used in the shooting, or whether or not the shooter obtained it legally.
Gunshots can be heard in a recording of the tournament posted to Twitter. (WARNING: Audio is graphic and disturbing)
Breaking: Reports of a shooting at the Jacksonville Landing during a Madden video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. Audio reveals sounds of gunfire during the tournament. pic.twitter.com/HOrW2yj24Q
— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) August 26, 2018
According to a database of all mass shootings compiled by the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) in 2018, Sunday’s shooting at Jacksonville Landing makes for 22 mass shootings in Florida this year alone. The GVA defines a mass shooting as any incident in which four or more people are either shot or killed, not including the perpetrator of the shooting.
Given the data available, this means that out of 235 recorded mass shootings in 2018 (Excel link), 9.3 percent of those shootings have taken place in Florida, making it the second-deadliest state for mass shootings in the United States. The only state where more mass shootings have occurred this year is Illinois, which has had 29 mass shootings — most of which are in Chicago.
The propensity of mass shootings in the Sunshine State could be partially due to the state’s relaxed gun laws. The Giffords Law Center, which was started by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Arizona), gave Florida an “F” rating for 2018. The Giffords Center stated that Florida has the 26th highest rate of gun deaths, and that the state ranks #26 out of all 50 states in the strength of its gun laws.
Even though Florida Governor Rick Scott passed new gun reform laws following the massacre in Parkland that left 17 students and teachers dead and 17 others injured, the state still lacks any regulation of assault weapons or any official expanded background check policy for firearm purchases.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Grit Post does not publish the names of mass shooters, and we discourage other media outlets from doing so in order to avoid contributing to future mass shootings by making killers famous.)
Nick Jewell is a freelance political writer, and a proud resident of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.