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After weekend of gun violence, expert says there is "disconnect" between public's demand for action and what policymakers will do

A weekend of deadly gun violence in America
Another weekend of deadly gun violence in America with 13 mass shootings since Friday 03:13

It was a weekend marked by terrifying gun violence across the country, with 13 mass shootings in the U.S. since Friday.

In Philadelphia, three people died and 12 more were injured Saturday night as gunfire erupted on South Street at a time when hundreds of people were gathered. Police say multiple shooters were involved. It appears the violence started after an altercation escalated.

Surveillance video shows the moment the shooting unfolded, with people running for their lives as gunfire sprayed into the crowd.

Maureen Long heard the shots from her apartment nearby: "After Buffalo, Uvalde, you know, here! Right here! We have to do something!"

It's a sentiment echoed by the city's district attorney, Larry Krasner, who said that, in the U.S., "We have 120 guns for every 100 human beings. That's ridiculous. This is supposed to be a country of human beings, not a country of guns."

CBS News national correspondent Jericka Duncan asked Krasner about Philadelphia's gun violence: "Two-hundred-eleven homicides so far this year, 743 non-fatal shooting victims. What is a city to do?"

"The city has to change," he replied. "That's the bottom line."

At least 3 killed, 11 injured in Philadelphia shooting
Bullet holes are seen in a window in the South Street area of Philadelphia, June 5, 2022, after multiple people opened fire in a crowd on Saturday. Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Police said that two handguns were recovered from the scene of Saturday's shooting. As of this morning, no arrests have been made.  

Krasner told Duncan only 28 percent of fatal shootings are solved, saying it's not a big enough deterrent when criminals know they are less likely to be caught after killing someone.

In other cities this weekend, three people were killed and another 14 injured outside a nightclub in Chattanooga early Sunday.

In Phoenix, one person was killed and eight others injured in a shooting at a strip mall on Saturday.

In Summerton, South Carolina, a drive-by shooting at a high school graduation party killed one woman and wounded seven other people. And at another graduation party in Chester, Va., police report a 20-year-old man was killed and seven other young people injured after shots were fired.

The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data reveals a nearly 35 percent increase in firearm deaths nationwide from 2019 to 2020, with guns accounting for 79 percent of all homicides in the U.S. The country also recorded its most annual gun deaths ever in 2020: more than 45,000.

"Now, into 2022, we're seeing increases in many forms of violence, and of course we've seen some increases in mass shootings as well," said Daniel Webster, co-director of the Center for Gun Violence Solutions at Johns Hopkins University.

Experts expect gun violence to tick up this summer, in line with annual trends.

Webster said gun violence has continued to rise in the last two years, and pointed to reforms with wide public support (such as tighter licensing laws and comprehensive background checks) as evidence-based solutions.

Webster said, "The problem is the disconnect between what the public says they want and support, and what policymakers actually act upon."

The latest CBS News polling reveals that a clear majority of Americans favor a variety of gun restrictions, including universal background checks (81%), a federal "red flag" law (72%), and a nationwide ban on the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, often used in mass shootings (62%).

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On "CBS Mornings," CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto said Americans' attitudes with regard to gun policy is changing. "The number who say that gun laws should be more strict has risen in recent weeks," he said. "After the Buffalo tragedy, at 54% then; 60% now."

Also, 54% of poll respondents said they believe the leading reason for the greater number of mass shootings in the U.S. is the availability of guns.

But there is a divide between the parties. "When you look at policy measures – things like background checks, red flag laws – you get bipartisan support for these things. When you look at measures that pertain more expressly to the weapons, the guns, Republicans fall off in their support. And that's where the two parties diverge."

In terms of an AR-15 ban, 84% of Democrats support it, but only 31% of Republicans do.

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