In a grim reminder that violence in America never takes a holiday, 27 people were killed and 63 injured in shooting incidents on Christmas Day this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. This tally does not include people who shot themselves in suicide.
The number of Americans killed in gun homicides on Christmas Day is comparable to the number of people killed in gun homicides in an entire year in places like Australia or Britain. The 27 people killed by guns in America on Christmas this year is equal to the total number of people killed in gun homicides in an entire year in Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Estonia, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Iceland, combined.
The dead included the parents of a young child who were shot during a robbery in Columbus, Ohio; a Texas grandfather, whose 73-year-old wife says she shot him for “continuous marital issues and infidelities;” a young couple killed in their vehicle in the early morning hours near Augusta, Maine; and the owner of a barbershop in Alabama who was known as “a strong voice against crime” in the community, according to local news reports.
At least two of the Christmas Day shootings qualified as mass shooting incidents with four or more people shot. In one, a two-year old girl and three teenagers were injured in a shooting in a high-crime neighborhood in Jacksonville, Fla. Later that night in Mobile, Ala., four teenagers were shot by two gunmen outside a movie theater.
So far this year, we’ve averaged roughly 36 gun fatalities and 73 gun injuries each day, according to the Gun Violence Archive. So the Christmas Day tally represents something of a temporary de-escalation in the violence, but not a huge one.
This year has brought renewed attention to the problem of mass shooting incidents in America. But the spate of Christmas Day violence is a reminder that many more people are killed and injured in a relentless daily drumbeat of gun crime that barely makes the headlines.