Going for a record: 204 mass shootings in 204 days — in 2015, so far


Never Forget

…The headlines all start to sound the same after awhile. Seven people shot inside Louisville nightclub. Four men shot in Suffolk early Sunday morning. Two dead, two hospitalized in Brice Street shooting.

The shootings happen so often, the circumstances become so familiar, that we tune them out. One dead, five injured in west Columbus shooting. Four shot in grocery store ambush. One dead, four injured in Stockton shooting.

Every now and then a particularly heinous crime makes us pause and reflect. Nine dead in shooting at black church in Charleston. Four marines, one sailor killed in attacks on Chattanooga military facilities. Gunman opens fire on Louisiana movie theater.

The Mass Shooting Tracker, a crowd-sourced project of the anti-gun folks at the Guns Are Cool subreddit, lists 203 mass shooting events so far in 2015. Add in the shooting at a Louisiana movie theater last night and you get 204. Incidentally, yesterday was the 204th day of the year…

The Mass Shooting Tracker is different from other shooting databases in that it uses a broader definition of mass shooting. “The old FBI definition of Mass Murder (not even the most recent one) is four or more people murdered in one event,” the site’s creators explain. “It is only logical that a Mass Shooting is four or more people shot in one event.”…

These shootings have become so common that they typically don’t even make national news. Do you remember the four people shot in Cincinnati earlier this month? How about the seven in Cleveland, or the nine in Fort Wayne? Unless you live in these areas, you probably didn’t even hear about them…

Will anything change? Probably not. The Charleston shooting did produce a fruitful national conversation — not on guns, but on the symbolism of the Confederate flag, which the shooter adopted as a banner of his racist beliefs. It took 150 years and a national tragedy for the country to reach something like a consensus on the meaning of a battle flag.

“Those who live in America, or visit it, might do best to regard [mass shootings] the way one regards air pollution in China: an endemic local health hazard which, for deep-rooted cultural, social, economic and political reasons, the country is incapable of addressing,” The Economist wrote in response to the Charleston massacre. “This may, however, be a bit unfair. China seems to be making progress on pollution.”

Agreed.

2 thoughts on “Going for a record: 204 mass shootings in 204 days — in 2015, so far

  1. Press release says:

    Despite having only about 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States was the attack site for a disproportionate 31 percent of public mass shooters globally from 1966-2012, according to new research that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA) in Chicago today. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-08/asa-uh5081815.php By definition, these shootings do not include incidents that occurred solely in domestic settings or were primarily gang-related, drive-by shootings, hostage taking incidents, or robberies.

  2. KAPOW! says:

    “Walmart Decides to Drop Sale of AR-15 Assault Rifles” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/31/opinion/walmart-decides-to-drop-sale-of-ar-15-assault-rifles.html “Walmart, the nation’s leading gun dealer, denies that society’s growing revulsion at this carnage has anything to do with its decision last week to stop selling the AR-15 and a full range of similar assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Weakening sales was the reason, Walmart insists, despite reports that adapted war rifles and pistols continue as the industry’s big sellers. …The continuing threats to the American public from the militarization of the gun market include numerous variations of the AR-15, like the Bushmaster rifles used in the sniper shootings around Washington, D.C., in 2002 (10 dead, three wounded) and the 2012 schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut (20 children killed along with six adults). The “sporting” arsenal adapted for civilians also includes high-power handguns used in mass shootings and sniper rifles that can pierce armor. They all remain for sale.” Meanwhile the company has stated it will sell down its remaining AR inventory to zero as stores transition from summer to fall merchandise.
    See also Trinity Wall Street (church) v. Wal-Mart @ http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/144764p.pdf
    At issue was whether Wal-Mart improperly excluded from 2014 proxy materials the church’s shareholder proposal to require the corporation’s board of directors to have standard-capacity AR-style rifles removed from the stores. The church owns 3,500 Wal-Mart shares. A lower court ruled against Wal-Mart, finding the big-box retailer should have included the church’s proposal in proxy materials, even though Wal-Mart received Securities and Exchange Commission approval to exclude it.
    Earlier this year, the court issued a short opinion vacating a lower court’s order for Wal-Mart to include a measure from minority shareholder, Trinity Wall Street Church, to force a vote on a resolution that sought to have the Wal-Mart board of directors review decisions to sell certain popular firearms. The court’s unanimous opinion rejected the church’s ballot proposal as one that was properly excluded from Wal-Mart’s shareholder ballot because it struck at “the heart of Wal-Mart’s business: what it sells on shelves.” In the decision, the court said, “even if Trinity’s proposal raises sufficiently significant social and corporate policy issues, those policies do not transcend the ordinary business operations of Wal-Mart.”

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