Gun Crisis in America: 51 Shootings, 54 dead, 202 wounded in 29 days
Numbers don’t tell the tragic human stories of loss and pain, grief and healing — but they sure do tell the story of our national crisis. Legislators – DO SOMETHING!
Here’s the shockingly long list of mass shootings since August 4 when a 24-year-old white man dressed in body armor shot and killed 9 and wounded 27 others in Dayton, Ohio. (Mass Shootings Tracker lists all shootings where 4 or more people are SHOT (not just those where 4 or more are killed). We don’t even hear about most of these stories…
10 dead, 38 wounded in 6 separate mass shootings, all on just this one day across the U.S.
By Roger Straw, August 31, 2019
The big one today was in the oil-rich Permian Basin of west Texas. We learned that yet another young white guy massacred 5 innocents, wounded 21 others, and got himself killed in Odessa, Texas today. [UPDATE 9/1/19 10am PT: Death Toll In West Texas Shooting Rampage Now At 7. “The death toll from a mass shooting in the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa has risen from five to seven, according to Odessa Mayor David Turner. The mayor said that at least 18 remain injured” PBS.org
Even to our OWN ears, our calls for sensible gun legislation are sounding like a broken record. I can hardly stand to call out #NEVERAGAIN, again! What, another street protest? Another vigil? Another letter to Congress to DO SOMETHING!?
The echos are still ringing from Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy just this summer. And from Thousand Oaks, Pittsburgh, Santa Fe and Parkland last year. It gets too many to list, but we can’t forget Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Aurora… See a database of all the mass killings 1982-2019 on MotherJones.com.
The temptation is to NOT cry out again. We feel as though it’s of no use. Another few days and we’ll see the sentiment die down, and Congress can take no action. Again. Sigh….
Despair has a sister — apathy.
I hope YOU aren’t feeling as defeated as I am tonight. I hope you will write to your congressional representative, to the newspaper, to the NRA. This has GOT to stop!
Want a headache? Here’s the entire troubling list of mass shootings in 2019, 340 mass shootings in just 243 days so far, totaling 401 killed and 1330 wounded. (Mass Shootings Tracker lists all shootings where 4 or more people are SHOT (not just those where 4 or more are killed).
Well, of course one death by the hand of a mass shooter is too many.
But the numbers are important, and how are we to know the facts when we read widely varying reports:
“At least 60 people have died in the U.S. from mass shootings in 2019 alone” – Vallejo Times-Herald on Aug. 6
Prior to the El Paso shooting, “20 mass killings in the US in 2019 claimed 96 lives.” – The Guardian on Aug 4
“The Ohio mass shooting was the 293rd this year, accounting for 345 killed.” – The Benicia Independent on Aug 4
Yes, one is too many, but what is the real story of America’s gun violence problem? How to report with a sense of accuracy? And how are readers to make sense of the wide discrepancies?
#1 – First, it is likely that the Aug 6 Vallejo Times-Herald headline (60 killed) is just an error. I can find no other news article making that claim, and the headline is not referenced in the body of the two Associated Press news reports below the headline.
#2 – The Aug 4 Guardian article (96 killed) refers to “a database compiled by the Associated Press, Northeastern University and USA Today.” The database only counts shootings where four or more people killed, not including the shooter. Using this methodology, the shooting in Dayton was only “the 22nd mass killing in the US this year. The first 20 mass killings in the US in 2019 claimed 96 lives.”
#3 – My own reporting here on the Benicia Independent relies on two very similar databases with shockingly higher numbers: MassShootingTracker.org and GunViolenceArchive.org. Both of these track all shootings where 4 or more people are SHOT (not just those where 4 or more are killed). The justification for this as stated by example on MassShootingTracker is convincing: “…in 2012 Travis Steed and others shot 18 people total. Miraculously, he only killed one. Under the incorrect definition used by the media and the FBI, that event would not be considered a mass shooting! Arguing that 18 people shot during one event is not a mass shooting is absurd.” One difference between these two is that MassShootingTracker includes the death of the shooter, while GunViolenceArchive does not. Thus, they give these numbers for 2019 as of today, Aug 6:
Thank you, Donald Trump… now… #DOSOMETHING Mitch McConnell!
Everyone is talking about the mass murders in El Paso and Dayton. And well we should be talking – and doing something – about those horrors.
Thank goodness even our racist President made a powerful speech condemning hate, racism and white supremacist ideology.
But few are aware that on August 3 and 4, it wasn’t just TWO mass shootings. On those two days, SEVEN mass shootings in the U.S. were reported on MassShootingTracker.org, and another was reported early today on August 5:
Chicago (Douglas Park)
As I reported yesterday, mass shootings have become an everyday occurrence. By the time I finish this, there might be yet another.
Our legislators in Washington have rallied after any number of mass assault-weapon murders, but with little to no effective results. It has become an all-too-familiar cry to hear something like “thoughts and prayers are not enough.” But the public has gotten mostly just that, thoughts and prayers.
My congressional representative Mike Thompson has led the bipartisan House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force since 2012, but every time the House proposes gun control measures, either it fails in the House, or Senate leader Mitch McConnell and the Trump Republicans refuse to even allow a vote.
There are excellent legislative opportunities and worldwide guidance on how to stem the flow of these horrific attacks. If only… if only, our federal government would take action.