BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There have been at least 20 mass shootings in the two weeks since the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas according to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive.

One of the latest unfolded at a Tulsa, Oklahoma medical center where police said a gunman targeted his doctor after he became upset about back pain following a recent surgery. 

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Some of the nation’s leading experts on gun violence are in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University.

At a panel discussion Thursday, they addressed the rise in mass shootings across the country, calling it a “crisis.”

“Our schools have changed dramatically in this era of unchecked gun violence. They have fortified. They’ve increased the number of school resource officers on campus” said Odis Johnson, the executive director of Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools. “This year, we’ve had 34 school shootings already, which is more than the total of 2021.”

Daniel Webster, the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, said “The United States is quite unusual in its incredibly lax regulations of firearms.”

But the Hopkins panel acknowledged it would be a challenge to get stricter gun laws through Congress. 

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Hopkins’ recent polling does show most Americans support gun laws that include background checks, permits and minimum age requirements.  “The narrative in our country is there is a great divide by gun ownership or political party on solutions to gun violence and that’s why we can’t get anything done. I say gun policy is mostly political among politicians. Many Americans including the majority of gun owners support evidence-based policies;” said Cassandra Crifasi, an associate professor.

In Baltimore, mass shootings rarely make national headlines, but there have been six of them in the city this year. A mass shooting is defined as at least four people wounded in a single incident, not including the shooter.

Among the city’s mass shootings were two that were hours apart last month. 

A violence prevention worker was among those killed in a January mass shooting. 

Another mass shooting rattled Northwest Baltimore in March.

Shaken communities are now picking up the pieces with violence on the rise. “A gun violence crisis exists in the United States,” said Lainie Rutkow, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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