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Recounts of U.S. summer shootings

At Clark Atlanta University, students witnessed gunshots that were fired into a crowd of 200 outside the school’s library on their first day back to school. ABC News reported that four students were injured.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, a gunman armed with an AR-type assault rifle charged fire in Odessa and Midland in Western Texas, killing seven and injuring 22, according to NBC News.

On Aug. 3rd, Patrick Crusius, aged-21 from Allen, Texas, carried an assault-style rifle– similar to an AK-47–and opened fire at Walmart in El Paso.

Crusius had written a racist manifesto where he “expressed support for the Christchurch, New Zealand shooter and denounced the increasing Hispanic population in Texas,” according to CNS News.

Cruisius would go on to shoot and kill 20 people inside that Walmart and wound about 26 people.

According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, there have been 283 U.S.mass shootings this year, as of Sept. 1.

 “This puts 2019 on pace to be the first year since 2016 with an average of more than one mass shooting a day,” writes CBS News.

 In an interview with CBS News, Alden Hall, a 26-year-old Army Specialist recounts the terror he faced when he locked eyes with Crusius near the produce aisle. Hall tells the terror of Crusius raising his rifle and smirking at him before shooting. Hall turned and took off and “approximately four seconds after, it hit the guy next to me,” he recalled.

People were hiding under tables while, others stood frozen in place as the bullets went flying past.

“[The wounded] were being taken out in the carts. It was like back to back to back,” said Hall.

Crusius has been charged with capital murder and the U.S. Department of Justice is dealing with this mass shooting as a case of domestic terrorism.

 U.S. Attorney John Bash said the Department of Justice is “seriously considering bringing federal hate crime and federal firearm charges which carry a possible death penalty.”

In less than 14 hours, a second mass shooting occurred in Dayton, Ohio on Aug. 4. Nine people were killed and 27 injured. 24-year-old Connor Betts from Bellbrook, Ohio, complete with an ensemble of mask, bulletproof vest and hearing protection, brought in a .223-caliber high-capacity rifle and opened fire at a popular nightlife district.

 At a press conference in Dayton, Ohio, Chief Richard Biehl of Dayton Ohio Police Department said the “officers advanced at the suspect within 20 seconds of his firing the first shots and the threat was neutralized within 30 seconds of suspect firing first shots.”

 Policemen shot and killed Betts on sight.

“There was nothing in this individual’s record or history that would’ve precluded him from purchasing this firearm,” said Biehl.

In Oklahoma, no permit is necessary to purchase a firearm from private individuals nor are there waiting periods or firearm registrations needed.

 According to USCCA, US Concealed Carry Association, Oklahoma is a shall-issue constitutional carry state meaning that “if you meet all the requirements to obtain your concealed carry license or permit such as firearms training and background checks, the state will issue you that license.”

A background check is only required in Oklahoma if someone is purchasing a handgun from a federal firearms dealer.

As of Feb. 27 to Nov. 1, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a constitutional carry bill that will allow people at least 21 years old, that can legally own a firearm, to carry openly without a permit.

With each mass shooting, the root issues stir controversy surrounding gun control, mental health and hate crime.

“This ultimately comes back to, over and over again, a family and community issue,” stated Oklahoma Senator James Lankford. “The devolving of families, the isolation of individuals… the more an individual acts out.”