Category Archives: Gun control

Texas Lawmaker Issues Death Threat to Beto O’Rourke After Debate Pledge to Take Away Assault-Style Weapons

Slate, by Elliot Hannon, Sept 13, 2019

Beto O’Rourke was uniquely outspoken in his calls for gun control during Thursday night’s Democratic debate in Houston. The former Texas congressman, whose hometown of El Paso recently was the victim of a mass shooting at a Walmart, was asked if he’d take away assault-style weapons that are often used in mass shootings. “Hell yes,” O’Rourke responded. “We’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore.”

It seemed inevitable that O’Rourke’s call to ban ownership of military-style weapons would rile up the guns=distilled liberty true believers online, but it was, perhaps predictably, an elected Republican official—from the state of Texas no less—who led the way over the cliff. Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain tweeted a not-so-thinly veiled threat at the presidential contender, tweeting, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” calling O’Rourke, whose nickname is Beto, by his first and middle names.

The O’Rourke campaign said it reported the 34-year-old state representative’s tweet to the FBI. Twitter took down the tweet, saying it had violated its terms of service. “It violates our rules for threats of violence,” a company spokesperson said late Thursday night. “You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people.”

Cain, however, was unrepentant, tweeting “You’re a child Robert Francis.”
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    US mass shooters exploited gaps, errors in background checks

    Associated Press, by Lisa Marie Pane, Sep 7, 2019
    In this Aug. 4, 2019 file photo, a Virgin Mary painting, flags and flowers adorn a makeshift memorial for the victims of the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The vast majority of mass shooters have acquired their firearms legally with nothing in their background that would have prohibited them from possessing a gun. But there have been examples of lapses in the background check system that allowed guns to end up in the wrong hands. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)

    Most mass shooters in the U.S. acquired the weapons they used legally because there was nothing in their backgrounds to disqualify them, according to James Alan Fox, a criminologist with Northeastern University who has studied mass shootings for decades.

    But in several attacks in recent years gunmen acquired weapons as a result of mistakes, lack of follow-through or gaps in federal and state law.

    Not all gun purchases are subject to a federal background check system. Even for those that are, federal law stipulates a limited number of reasons why a person would be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. Those include someone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year in prison, has a substance abuse addiction, has been involuntarily committed for a mental health issue, was dishonorably discharged from the military or convicted of domestic violence/subject of a restraining order.

    In 2018, there were more than 26 million background checks conducted and fewer than 100,000 people failed. Of those, the vast majority were for a criminal conviction. Just over 6,000 were rejected for a mental health issue.

    Here are some of the ways mass shooters acquired their weapons:

    MISTAKE IN DATA: CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, CHURCH

    The gunman who killed nine worshippers in 2015 at Mother Emanuel AME Church acquired a handgun because of a combination of a mistake in the background database and lack of follow-through.

    Dylann Roof had been arrested on drug charges just weeks earlier. Although that arrest should have prevented him from purchasing the pistol he used in the attack, the FBI examiner reviewing the sale never saw the arrest report because the wrong agency was listed in state criminal history records. After being told she had the wrong agency to review the arrest record and being directed to a different police department, she didn’t follow through.

    After a three-day waiting period, Roof went back to a West Columbia store and picked up the handgun.

    FBI examiners process about 22,000 inquiries per day, a Justice Department attorney said during a court case brought by relatives of the church victims.

    DATA NOT UPDATED: SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TEXAS, CHURCH

    The man who killed more than two dozen churchgoers in 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was able to purchase guns because his past criminal record was not submitted to the FBI database.

    Devin Patrick Kelley purchased four guns from federally licensed dealers in Texas and Colorado. The military veteran passed the required background checks because the Air Force never informed the FBI about an assault on his wife and her child that led to a court-martial, a year of confinement and a bad conduct discharge.

    The Air Force acknowledged that in addition to failing to submit the information in the FBI database for Kelley, it found several dozen other such reporting omissions. The Air Force has blamed gaps in “training and compliance measures” for the lapses and said it made changes to prevent failures in the future.

    LACK OF ENFORCEMENT: AURORA, ILLINOIS, WORKPLACE

    When Aurora, Illinois, shooter Gary Martin failed a background check and was told to turn over his weapon, he never did and police didn’t confiscate it. Martin later killed five co-workers and wounded six other people at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant.

    An initial background check failed to detect Martin’s criminal record. Months later, a second background check found his 1995 aggravated assault conviction in Mississippi involving the stabbing of an ex-girlfriend.

    He was sent a letter stating his gun permit had been revoked and ordering him to turn over his firearm to police, however he never gave up the .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun.

    There’s no mechanism under federal law to seize firearms from people who are prohibited from possession or purchase. Most states allow police to seize a firearm when they encounter a prohibited person. Few states have a procedure to actively retrieve and remove firearms from prohibited people.

    A 2018 report by the California attorney general, for example, said that more than 20,000 people in that state have failed to surrender their firearms as required. California is one of a handful of states that seizes firearms from prohibited people. California, Connecticut, and Nevada require prohibited people to provide proof they’ve complied and relinquished their firearms.

    PRIVATE PURCHASE: WEST TEXAS RAMPAGE

    The gunman who went on a rampage last weekend along a 10-mile stretch around Midland and Odessa, Texas, killing seven people and injuring about two dozen, had failed a background check in 2014. Authorities believe Seth Aaron Ator evaded the background check system by purchasing the weapon he used through a private transaction. They searched a home in Lubbock that they believe is associated with the person who supplied the gun.

    Under federal law, private sales of firearms — such as between friends, relatives or even strangers — are not required to undergo a federal background check. Some 21 states plus Washington, D.C., have laws that require background checks on some private sales, but Texas isn’t one of them. Two other states — Maryland and Pennsylvania — require a background check for handguns but not long guns.

    A study by Harvard University researchers published in 2017 found that 22% of current gun owners who acquired a firearm in the previous two years reported doing so without a background check.

    While Americans are allowed to make their own firearms, they cannot do so commercially. It is illegal to make and sell guns as a business without being a licensed dealer or manufacturer. Some sales at gun shows also are not subject to a background check.

    TOOK FROM RELATIVES: NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT; MARYSVILLE, WASHINGTON; AND SANTA FE, TEXAS

    The 20-year-old who killed 20 students and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, took the firearms he used from his mother’s collection. Adam Lanza killed her first in the home they shared before going to the Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he carried out his attack in 2012.

    In 2014, 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg killed four classmates and wounded one other in Marysville, Washington, before killing himself. He was armed with a .40-caliber Beretta Px4 Storm handgun that he stole from his father. Fryberg’s father was later convicted of illegally obtaining the gun for failing to acknowledge on federal firearm forms that he was the subject of a tribal domestic-violence protective order. That order was never sent into the state or federal criminal databases.

    Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old high school student in Santa Fe, Texas, is accused of killing eight students and two substitute teachers in 2018 with a shotgun and pistol he took from his father’s closet.

    LEGALLY ACQUIRED: LAS VEGAS; AURORA, COLORADO; ROSEBURG, OREGON; AND ORLANDO AND PARKLAND, FLORIDA

    The man who carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history — the Las Vegas attack that left 58 people killed and more than 500 wounded in 2017 — legally acquired 33 of the 49 weapons between October 2016 and Sept. 28, 2017, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    The gunmen who carried out attacks at a high school in Parkland, Florida; the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida; Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon; and a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, all passed background checks and purchased their firearms legally.

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      Not just in Odessa TX – 6 mass shootings today!

      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
      Odessa PIO: Five dead, more than 20 injured in mass shooting
      Odessa TX: Five dead, plus the shooter; more than 20 injured in mass shooting

      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

      That one – the big one – made all the BREAKING NEWS segments on tv and the internet today.

      But no one is reporting that this guy didn’t act alone.

      Well, yes, he was most likely a “lone” shooter in Odessa.  But there were five other mass shooters out there on this Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

      Here’s the raw data from massshootingtracker.org :

      date killed wounded city state
      8/31/2019 1 4 Chicago (West Englewood) IL
      8/31/2019 6 21 Odessa TX
      8/31/2019 2 2 Philadelphia PA
      8/31/2019 0 4 Moncks Corner SC
      8/31/2019 0 4 Frederick MD
      8/31/2019 1 3 Charlotte NC
      1-DAY TOTAL 10 38 Across the U.S.

      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).

      date killed wounded city state
      8/31/2019 1 4 Chicago (West Englewood) IL
      8/31/2019 6 21 Odessa TX
      8/31/2019 2 2 Philadelphia PA
      8/31/2019 0 4 Moncks Corner SC
      8/31/2019 0 4 Frederick MD
      8/31/2019 1 3 Charlotte NC
      8/30/2019 0 10 Mobile AL
      8/30/2019 1 3 Baltimore MD
      8/29/2019 1 3 Baltimore MD
      8/26/2019 4 0 Pembroke Pines FL
      8/25/2019 3 4 Hobbs NM
      8/25/2019 1 3 Chicago (Chatham) IL
      8/24/2019 1 3 Lynn MA
      8/24/2019 0 7 Temple Hills MD
      8/23/2019 0 4 Dublin GA
      8/23/2019 1 3 St. Louis MO
      8/23/2019 3 2 Houston TX
      8/22/2019 0 4 Los Angeles CA
      8/22/2019 2 2 Columbia SC
      8/20/2019 0 4 Atlanta GA
      8/18/2019 0 4 Kansas City MO
      8/17/2019 0 4 Kansas City MO
      8/17/2019 2 2 Newport News VA
      8/17/2019 0 6 Houston TX
      8/15/2019 2 3 Montgomery AL
      8/15/2019 0 5 Philadelphia PA
      8/14/2019 1 5 New Manchester WV
      8/14/2019 0 6 Philadelphia PA
      8/13/2019 2 3 Tacoma WA
      8/13/2019 0 4 Greenwood MS
      8/12/2019 3 1 Hickory NC
      8/12/2019 2 2 Riverside CA
      8/11/2019 0 6 Chicago (Garfield Park) IL
      8/10/2019 0 4 Richmond VA
      8/10/2019 0 4 San Francisco CA
      8/9/2019 0 4 Houston TX
      8/9/2019 0 4 Chicago (Marquette Park) IL
      8/8/2019 2 3 Irvington NJ
      8/7/2019 2 2 St. Louis MO
      8/6/2019 4 0 Stone Mountain GA
      8/6/2019 0 4 Detroit MI
      8/6/2019 1 3 Suitland MD
      8/5/2019 4 0 San Antonio TX
      8/5/2019 0 4 Brooklyn NY
      8/4/2019 0 4 Grenada Co. MS
      8/4/2019 10 27 Dayton OH
      8/4/2019 1 3 Memphis TN
      8/3/2019 1 7 Chicago (Lawndale) IL
      8/3/2019 0 7 Chicago (Douglas Park) IL
      8/3/2019 22 24 El Paso TX
      8/2/2019 2 3 Suffolk VA
      8/2/2019 3 1 Pomfret MD
      7/31/2019 3 1 Elkhart IN
      7/30/2019 3 1 Rosenberg TX
      7/30/2019 0 5 Haskell OK
      7/30/2019 2 2 Southaven MS
      7/30/2019 0 5 Columbus OH
      7/28/2019 0 4 Chicago (Lawndale) IL
      7/28/2019 5 2 Lake Hallie WI
      7/28/2019 1 5 Philadelphia PA
      7/28/2019 4 12 Gilroy CA
      7/28/2019 0 4 Washington DC
      7/28/2019 0 4 Uniontown PA
      7/27/2019 1 11 Brooklyn NY
      7/27/2019 1 3 Wichita KS
      7/26/2019 1 3 Kennewick WA
      7/25/2019 3 1 Albemarle NC
      7/25/2019 4 2 Los Angeles CA
      7/23/2019 2 2 Pembroke Park FL
      7/21/2019 0 4 Washington DC
      7/21/2019 0 4 Chicago (Lawndale) IL
      7/20/2019 1 3 Baltimore MD
      7/20/2019 0 7 Chicago IL
      7/20/2019 0 4 Clairton PA
      7/18/2019 1 3 Chicago (Garfield Park) IL
      7/17/2019 1 3 Lubbock TX
      7/16/2019 0 4 San Antonio TX
      7/15/2019 2 2 Baltimore MD
      7/15/2019 0 4 Atlanta GA
      7/15/2019 1 3 New Orleans LA
      7/14/2019 0 4 Chicago (Garfield Park) IL
      7/13/2019 0 7 Philadelphia PA
      7/13/2019 1 4 Chicago (Gresham) IL
      7/11/2019 0 4 Houston TX
      7/8/2019 2 2 Washington DC
      7/7/2019 0 5 St. Louis MO
      7/7/2019 0 6 Flint MI
      7/7/2019 0 4 Wichita KS
      7/7/2019 0 4 Chicago (Englewood) IL
      7/7/2019 0 4 Albuquerque NM
      7/7/2019 0 4 Chicago (Englewood) IL
      7/6/2019 5 0 St. Louis Co. MO
      7/6/2019 0 4 San Jose CA
      7/6/2019 2 2 Saint Clair Shores MI
      7/6/2019 0 4 Charlotte NC
      7/5/2019 1 3 Reno NV
      7/5/2019 0 6 Boston (Roxbury) MA
      7/5/2019 4 0 Gravette AR
      7/5/2019 0 5 Chicago (Woodlawn) IL
      7/5/2019 0 4 Brooklyn NY
      7/4/2019 1 3 Fresno CA
      7/4/2019 0 4 Rockford IL
      7/4/2019 0 4 Los Angeles CA
      7/4/2019 1 3 Chicago (Humboldt Park) IL
      7/3/2019 2 3 Cinco Ranch TX
      7/2/2019 0 4 Washington Park IL
      7/2/2019 0 4 Wellston MO
      7/1/2019 0 4 Baltimore MD
      6/30/2019 0 5 Yucaipa CA
      6/30/2019 2 2 Dallas TX
      6/30/2019 0 4 Oakland CA
      6/30/2019 0 4 Chicago IL
      6/30/2019 0 6 Bay Shore NY
      6/29/2019 0 4 Houma LA
      6/29/2019 0 4 Hartford CT
      6/29/2019 0 7 Baton Rouge LA
      6/29/2019 0 5 Chicago IL
      6/28/2019 0 7 Atlanta GA
      6/28/2019 1 3 Auburn WA
      6/28/2019 0 5 St. Paul MN
      6/28/2019 0 4 Paterson NJ
      6/28/2019 0 6 Hamden CT
      6/27/2019 0 7 Atlanta GA
      6/26/2019 0 4 Milwaukee WI
      6/26/2019 1 3 Akron OH
      6/24/2019 2 2 Philadelphia PA
      6/23/2019 5 0 San Jose CA
      6/23/2019 0 5 Columbus OH
      6/23/2019 1 3 La Jolla CA
      6/23/2019 3 1 Abbeville SC
      6/23/2019 1 10 South Bend IN
      6/22/2019 0 4 Hampton VA
      6/22/2019 0 4 South Philadelphia PA
      6/22/2019 1 4 Baltimore MD
      6/21/2019 5 0 Santa Maria CA
      6/21/2019 1 3 Saginaw MI
      6/21/2019 0 4 Richmond CA
      6/21/2019 0 4 Chicago (Parkway Gardens) IL
      6/20/2019 0 10 Allentown PA
      6/18/2019 1 4 Newark NJ
      6/18/2019 0 4 San Antonio TX
      6/17/2019 0 5 Memphis TN
      6/16/2019 1 5 Philadelphia PA
      6/16/2019 0 6 Des Moines IA
      6/16/2019 1 6 Louisville KY
      6/15/2019 4 0 Des Moines IA
      6/15/2019 0 4 Shreveport LA
      6/14/2019 4 0 Wyalusing PA
      6/12/2019 1 3 Charlotte NC
      6/11/2019 2 2 Savannah GA
      6/11/2019 0 4 Aurora CO
      6/9/2019 1 3 Cleveland OH
      6/9/2019 1 3 Henning TN
      6/9/2019 0 4 Buffalo NY
      6/8/2019 5 2 White Swan WA
      6/8/2019 0 4 Chicago IL
      6/7/2019 0 5 Austin TX
      6/6/2019 1 3 Chicago IL
      6/5/2019 0 4 Santa Rosa CA
      6/2/2019 1 3 Dallas TX
      6/1/2019 0 5 Atlanta GA
      6/1/2019 0 5 Allendale SC
      6/1/2019 1 3 Macon GA
      6/1/2019 0 4 Chicago IL
      6/1/2019 1 3 Portsmouth VA
      6/1/2019 0 4 Chicago IL
      5/31/2019 1 3 West Covina CA
      5/31/2019 13 5 Virginia Beach VA
      5/30/2019 0 5 Robbins IL
      5/29/2019 1 3 Reserve LA
      5/29/2019 3 2 Cleveland TX
      5/27/2019 1 5 Trenton NJ
      5/27/2019 2 2 St. Louis MO
      5/27/2019 0 5 Washington DC
      5/26/2019 1 3 Stockton CA
      5/26/2019 0 5 La Crosse VA
      5/26/2019 1 3 Fort Lauderdale FL
      5/26/2019 1 3 Washington DC
      5/26/2019 2 3 Chicago IL
      5/25/2019 3 2 Detroit MI
      5/25/2019 0 5 Oklahoma City OK
      5/25/2019 1 9 Chesapeake VA
      5/25/2019 0 4 Baltimore MD
      5/25/2019 0 9 Trenton NJ
      5/20/2019 0 4 Columbus OH
      5/20/2019 2 2 Tulsa OK
      5/20/2019 1 4 Alexandria LA
      5/19/2019 0 5 Portland OR
      5/18/2019 0 4 Omaha NE
      5/18/2019 2 4 Winston-Salem NC
      5/18/2019 1 4 Cascilla MS
      5/18/2019 1 5 Long Beach CA
      5/18/2019 2 2 Cedar Rapids IA
      5/18/2019 1 8 Atmore AL
      5/18/2019 1 6 Muncie IN
      5/17/2019 1 3 Sacramento CA
      5/16/2019 0 4 Cleveland OH
      5/15/2019 0 4 Huber Heights OH
      5/15/2019 2 2 Appleton WI
      5/15/2019 0 4 Saint Rose LA
      5/14/2019 0 4 Los Angeles CA
      5/13/2019 4 1 St. Louis MO
      5/13/2019 0 4  New Orleans LA
      5/12/2019 0 4 Paulsboro NJ
      5/11/2019 0 4 Effort PA
      5/10/2019 0 6 St. Louis MO
      5/10/2019 0 5 Philadelphia PA
      5/8/2019 0 4 Indianapolis IN
      5/7/2019 1 8 Highlands Ranch CO
      5/5/2019 0 6 Oceano CA
      5/5/2019 1 4 North Bergen NJ
      5/4/2019 1 4 Stockton CA
      5/4/2019 0 4 Indianapolis IN
      5/4/2019 0 4 Wilmington DE
      5/4/2019 1 4 St. Louis MO
      5/3/2019 1 3 Dallas TX
      5/3/2019 0 5 Baltimore MD
      5/3/2019 0 4 Baltimore MD
      5/1/2019 1 3 Boston MA
      4/30/2019 2 2 Raymond KS
      4/30/2019 2 4 Charlotte NC
      4/28/2019 4 0 West Chester OH
      4/28/2019 0 4 Birmingham AL
      4/28/2019 0 6 Los Angeles CA
      4/28/2019 1 7 Baltimore MD
      4/28/2019 0 7 Nashville TN
      4/27/2019 1 3 Jackson MS
      4/27/2019 1 3 Jackson MI
      4/27/2019 1 3 Poway CA
      4/26/2019 0 4 Hugo OK
      4/22/2019 4 0 Fort Worth TX
      4/22/2019 2 2 Cleveland OH
      4/21/2019 0 4 Philadelphia PA
      4/21/2019 0 4 Los Angeles CA
      4/20/2019 0 7 Memphis TN
      4/20/2019 0 4 Corpus Christi TX
      4/19/2019 0 4 Wichita KS
      4/18/2019 0 4 Louisville KY
      4/17/2019 3 1 London OH
      4/16/2019 1 3 Germantown MD
      4/14/2019 1 3 Vallejo CA
      4/14/2019 0 4 Stockton CA
      4/14/2019 2 2 Miami-Dade FL
      4/14/2019 1 3 Upland CA
      4/13/2019 0 4 Moreno Valley CA
      4/12/2019 0 4 Carbondale IL
      4/12/2019 3 2 Phoenix AZ
      4/11/2019 1 3 Los Angeles CA
      4/11/2019 1 3 Baltimore MD
      4/9/2019 1 3 Kansas City MO
      4/7/2019 0 6 Wilmington DE
      4/7/2019 0 4 Shreveport LA
      4/7/2019 0 7 Winston-Salem NC
      4/7/2019 2 3 Indianapolis IN
      4/6/2019 0 6 Chicago (Englewood) CO
      4/6/2019 0 4 Tallahassee FL
      4/4/2019 1 3 Panama City FL
      4/4/2019 3 2 Stockbridge GA
      4/2/2019 0 4 Hermanville MS
      4/2/2019 0 5 Covington KY
      3/31/2019 1 4 Atlanta GA
      3/31/2019 0 7 North Charleston SC
      3/31/2019 1 4 Chicago (East Garfield Park) IL
      3/28/2019 0 4 Baltimore MD
      3/25/2019 0 5 North Las Vegas NV
      3/23/2019 0 7 Phoenix AZ
      3/23/2019 1 5 San Francisdo CA
      3/19/2019 0 4 Nashville TN
      3/19/2019 2 4 Phoenix AZ
      3/17/2019 1 3 Rochelle GA
      3/17/2019 0 4 Augusta GA
      3/17/2019 0 4 Las Vegas NV
      3/16/2019 1 3 Camden NJ
      3/15/2019 2 3 Mobile AL
      3/14/2019 2 2 Missoula MT
      3/13/2019 1 3 Harvey IL
      3/11/2019 0 4 Paterson NJ
      3/10/2019 0 4 Shreveport LA
      3/10/2019 1 4 Denver CO
      3/3/2019 0 4 Oakland CA
      3/3/2019 0 6 Chicago (South Shore) IL
      3/2/2019 1 4 Pine Bluff AR
      2/28/2019 1 3 Oakland CA
      2/28/2019 4 0 Joliet IL
      2/22/2019 2 2 Birmingham AL
      2/21/2019 2 2 Elizabethtown TN
      2/21/2019 1 4 Baltimore MD
      2/21/2019 2 2 Houston TX
      2/20/2019 0 4 Covington TN
      2/18/2019 4 0 Cedar Springs MI
      2/17/2019 2 2 Henderson TX
      2/17/2019 1 5 New Orleans LA
      2/17/2019 0 5 Evansville IN
      2/16/2019 4 1 Clinton MS
      2/15/2019 3 1 Nevis MN
      2/15/2019 6 6 Aurora IL
      2/14/2019 2 2 Jacksonville FL
      2/11/2019 5 0 Blanchard TX
      2/9/2019 0 4 Petersburg VA
      2/7/2019 1 3 Cleveland OH
      2/6/2019 1 3 Brooklyn NY
      2/4/2019 2 2 San Antonio TX
      2/4/2019 0 4 Washington DC
      2/4/2019 0 4 Baton Rouge LA
      2/3/2019 4 0 Palm Springs CA
      2/3/2019 2 5 Chicago (West Garfield) IL
      2/2/2019 0 4 San Diego CA
      2/2/2019 2 2 Grand Prairie TX
      1/28/2019 2 4 Houston TX
      1/27/2019 0 5 Birmingham AL
      1/26/2019 1 3 Newark NJ
      1/26/2019 5 0 Livingston Parish LA
      1/26/2019 0 4 Albany GA
      1/26/2019 0 5 Indianapolis IN
      1/25/2019 1 4 Gaston NC
      1/24/2019 4 1 Rockmart GA
      1/24/2019 4 1 State College PA
      1/23/2019 5 0 Sebring FL
      1/20/2019 0 4 Miami FL
      1/19/2019 3 2 Houston TX
      1/19/2019 3 2 Jacksonville FL
      1/19/2019 0 4 Lebanon PA
      1/19/2019 0 4 Chicago (West Garfield) IL
      1/19/2019 1 4 Gaffney SC
      1/17/2019 3 1 Owensboro KY
      1/16/2019 3 1 Palmdale CA
      1/16/2019 1 5 Jacksonville FL
      1/15/2019 1 4 Little Rock AR
      1/14/2019 1 3 Odessa TX
      1/13/2019 1 5 Phoenix AZ
      1/6/2019 0 4 Roswell NM
      1/6/2019 0 4 Fairfield CA
      1/6/2019 2 2 Cache OK
      1/4/2019 3 2 Hurt VA
      1/4/2019 3 4 Torrance CA
      1/4/2019 1 3 Houston TX
      1/3/2019 1 3 Yuma AZ
      1/2/2019 1 3 Jonesboro AR
      1/1/2019 0 5 Tallahassee FL
      1/1/2019 0 5 Columbia SC
      Total of 340 mass shootings to date: 401 1330
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        How many dead? Database discrepancies…

        By Roger Straw, August 6, 2019

        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:

          1. “At least 60 people have died in the U.S. from mass shootings in 2019 alone”  – Vallejo Times-Herald on Aug. 6
          2. Prior to the El Paso shooting, “20 mass killings in the US in 2019 claimed 96 lives.”  – The Guardian on Aug 4
          3. “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:

        Database – Mass Shootings in 2019 Incidents Killed Wounded
        MassShootingTracker.org 298 353 1162
        GunViolenceArchive.org 253 275 1055

        Only using the more detailed mass shootings data can we understand that in the 218 days of this year, the U.S. is experiencing more than one mass shooting every day.

        This is a crisis.

        Congress needs to act.  Now.

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