Knocking on the wrong door, driving down the wrong street, approaching someone else’s car, or looking for a ball in the neighbor’s yard are small confusions that in the US can cost your life.
These are common mistakes of daily life that some Americans have been gunned down for in recent days.
(Keep reading: Bigot shot a 6-year-old girl and her parents over a ball in their garden.)
One of those victims was barely 6 years old.
Beyond the mass shootings that rock the country with increasing regularity, these small incidents, which occur almost daily, are what have become the leading cause of fatalities from firearms in the United States.
«The main type of incidents we have is one or two people getting shot,» Mark Bryant, director of the National Archive of Gun Violence, told the BBC.
So far there have been an estimated 165 mass shootings so far this year, but miles of minor incidents.
The wrong door or entrance
Mass shootings are a small part of the overall framework of nationwide firearms incidents.
Although these events are the ones that attract the attention of public opinion, they only represent 6% of deaths and injuries from this cause in the country.
Most of the stories are like those of Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old teenager who was shot by a man in the past. April 13 after the young man rings the doorbell of his house by mistake.
(Also: Ralph Yarl: what about the young black man shot for ringing the wrong bell?).
«He rang the wrong doorbell and the owner of the house shot him twice. The doctors cannot believe that he survived,» Cleo Nagbe, the young man’s mother, told local media.
Or the story of Kaylin Gillis, a 20-year-old girl who died on April 15 after a man shot her because the car in which she was traveling with her friends drove into the wrong driveway.
Also what happened to two young people who tried to open a car that was not theirs in a parking lot in the state of Texas and the person inside got out of the vehicle and started shooting, seriously injuring one of them.
Or the 6-year-old girl and her father who were shot by a neighbor because a basketball landed in their front yard.
«The bullet went in and out of my cheek,» the girl told a local news network.
And that’s just the stories that make national headlines.
«Gun violence affects every community in some way, even if it’s less visible than a mass shooting,» said Kelly Drane, research director for gun safety advocacy group Giffords.
«These last few weeks people are realizing: Gun violence happens in our country every day. Guns are costing the nation dearly on a human level,» he added.
Not all seven communities are affected equally; black people die from firearms at higher rates than any other racial group or ethnic in the US
Firearm-related deaths have skyrocketed among black and Hispanic children during the covid-19 pandemic, according to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Now, the debate that mass shootings cause every day is more polarized.
Gun rights withdrawals advocate fewer restrictions, while advocates of greater control prefer to push for laws that limit access.
The Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees Americans the right to firearms, although the extent of that right is the subject of much political and legal debate.
Conservatives, who often support second amendment rights, blame the gun violence on a broader mental health crisis and rising crime.
Liberals, who tend to favor stricter regulation, point to the high levels of access to firearms in the US as the cause of the violence.
Between January 1 and April 20, 2023, 12,719 people have died in incidents of armed violence, according to data provided by the Armed Violence Archive.
Since April 13, the day Ralph Yarl went to the wrong house, there have been 845 gun-related incidents in the US, according to preliminary data from the Gun Violence Archive.
It should be noted that a small fraction of these incidents did not involve shooting, such as a case that occurred on April 13 in which an adult left a loaded gun in the bathroom of an Atlanta, Georgia, elementary school.
Overall, those 845 incidents resulted in 743 injuries and 328 deaths.
And what is certain is that next week there will be more.
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BBC-NEWS-SRC: IMPORT DATE: 2023-04-21 21:00:09