Gun violence in Philadelphia is so pervasive, every day feels like a mass shooting, according to a new study from Temple University.
Although shootings in the city are spread out across different neighborhoods and involve different people, the end result is still as heavy as a single mass shooting for the victims’ communities and the hospitals that treat the victims, the study found, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
For example, the study revealed that Philadelphia has experienced 244 clusters of three or more gunshot patients who were rushed to a single hospital at once over an 11-year time period. Three times, there were six or more victims brought in as a single cluster.
The study combed through Philadelphia Police data on more than 14,000 firearm injuries between 2005 and 2015. Researchers analyzed the number of patients who arrived at the same hospital within 15 minutes of each other — and lumped this together as a single patient cluster.
Voshon Mills has seen firsthand the impact of gun violence in Philadelphia. The 22-year-old told the Inquirer he was shot in the leg last week and shot in the head four months prior.
“I’m getting used to getting shot now,” Mills said. “It’s starting to feel like a normal thing.”
Although mass shootings across the country get media coverage and comments from elected leaders, gun violence in cities occurs more frequently and registers a higher impact on affected communities.
Jessica Beard, who co-authored the study and works as a trauma surgeon at Temple University Hospital, said doctors refer to the number of gunshot patients as “an everyday mass shooting.”
What constitutes a mass shooting, by definition, is one that usually involves three or more victims from a single incident. By this definition, Philly has seen an average of almost two mass shootings every month for the past 11 years, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The study ran on April 10 in the Journal of American College of Surgeons. Beard said she hopes the study helps people realize the hefty toll gun violence plays in urban areas every single day.
“It’s horrible to tell somebody’s mom that they’ve died and you can’t save them,” Beard told The Inquirer. “It’s horrible to tell someone they’ll never walk again. It’s horrible to wash blood off your shoes.”