America Has Endured 309 Mass Shootings So Far This Year

"A tally from the Gun Violence Archive found that there have been 309 mass shootings on U.S. soil since the year began, averaging out to around 11 per week." - Relevant

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pvawter's picture

The isn't even an article so much as an abstract of some statistics related to gun violence. Are they trying to make a point?

dgszweda's picture

I hate these statistics.  Especially when they say it is a uniquely American problem.  Well having lived in the UK, knife assaults in the UK are a uniquely UK problem.  Out of a UK population of 67M people there are almost 50,000 knife assaults in the UK.  It is actually a real problem that they are struggling with.  The US has a population of 330M and has 60,000 knife assaults.

Of the 330 mass shootings that they outlined in this study, it resulted in 2,264 deaths.  Extrapolate that across the year and it would be roughly 5,000 people.  Many of these are just 1 or 2 people killed and practically all are domestic or gang related and not carried out with an AR-15 style weapon.

Bert Perry's picture

To get to these numbers, the advocates are deliberately mixing two different kinds of crimes.  You've got multiple shootings that result from ordinary crime (generally gang related or families), and then you've got the cases like we had in Highland Park, where somebody with generally no criminal record snaps and starts shooting people.

The trouble with mixing these is that you have multiple causes, but the statistics are presented as if it's one big cause--and that greatly increases the odds that you're going to choose the wrong solution.

(for reference, my best bet is that gang/family related crime ought to be addressed by asking "where is government discouraging normal families?", and regarding "guy snapped" kinds of crimes, the only real solution is to "harden" currently vulnerable areas.  For parades, for example, maybe we need to put some deputies on the roofs so it's harder to camp up there and shoot people.)

David's point on knives is very appropriate as well, because anybody with a bit of technical skill can make a sword worthy of a Middle Ages knight, just like anybody with a bit of skill can make a functional bomb or even firearm--as was learned to great horror during the Rwanda genocide, for reference.  So you can't just ban guns or pointy objects and think that you've got it all under control.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

The problem that is with us, in my opinion, is:

  • The US has a lot of opportunity for a lot more restrictive gun laws that are common sense and would help prevent bad people from getting guns, but allow good people to own what they want.  The problem is that we have a very strong gun lobby, lobbying for no laws (which makes no sense) and two sides entrenched in diametrically opposed sides with no capacity to bridge it at all (i.e. one side is no laws, and the other side is ban everything).  Both the Illinois shooting and the Texas shooting were avoidable if we had better elements in place, without needing to wholesale ban weapons.
  • We need common sense gun laws, but we also need to look at the root cause of the issues and start putting together programs that address that as well.  Again, neither side really wants to address anything around this.
  • Our stats are crummy.  A gang drive by that injures someone is very different from a kid shooting up a school.  We need to have better data than data that subscribes to a certain philosophy or narrative that is trying to be provided.
  • The ROW is not going to understand the US.  We cannot ban weapons like New Zealand did.   Even if we wanted to.  Congress has gotten sloppy and they want the Supreme Court or an Executive Order to do their job, because they can't do what they are constitutionally required to do.  Not only is it guaranteed in the 2nd Amendment, but even if they banned the sale of guns, to recover 400M guns would be nearly impossible.
  • I do think it is too easy to purchase a weapon in the US, and to be honest, it is probably how incredibly easy it is to get a weapon that most likely enabled Uvalde and Hinsdale shootings.  How young people with issues can buy so many guns and so many rounds of ammunition, brag about their shootings online and then go and shoot people is a bit beyond me.  This to me is low hanging fruit we can go after.  We have way too many politicians jumping over themselves trying to make it easier and easier to buy a weapon and to carry a weapon in order to build conservative party credibility, it is getting a bit crazy.

BTW, I am all for the freedoms of owning guns.  I own a decent amount, including highly regulated ones, so I know what it takes to wait and purchase these, and the barrier it puts up for an upset teen to be able to buy one.

T Howard's picture

  • Do not allow anyone under 21 to purchase an AR-15 style firearm.
  • Do not allow anyone under 21 to purchase bulletproof armor.
  • Require firearm safety training before anyone under 21 can purchase a firearm.

I own two handguns. I don't hunt. I do understand the need to keep government tyranny in check (a la 2nd amendment). However, if you think a group of overweight, Call of Duty playing civilians armed with AR-15s is going to stop a military-led or backed coup, I think you've been watching too much Red Dawn.

Bert Perry's picture

All, I understand how many think that simple "common sense" laws would help, but let's remember the government's record in this. 

Since 1968, certain classes of people have been banned from owning or possessing firearms, and criminal cases against violators of this are generally open and shut.  The NRA promoted enforcement in its "Project Exile" efforts in Richmond, leading to a huge reduction in crime in that city.   Unfortunately, few resources have been devoted to this.  Even documented attempts to illegally obtain guns (e.g. Brady check rejections) are rarely punished.  

On the flip side, numerous municipalities have done "gun registration", ostensibly to allow easier tracing, with the promise it would never, ever lead to bans or confiscation.  Promise trashed; many cities and states went ahead with gun bans and confiscated those guns.  

Similarly, the "red flag" laws promoted in many states are often abused, with a low standard of evidence to take someone's guns and a much higher standard of evidence needed to get them back.  

Long and short of it; gun rights organizations don't trust the government for a reason, and hence it's no surprise they say "why don't you try enforcing the laws you've got first?"

Regarding the notion of armed civilians standing up to an invading army, well, that's exactly what happened in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and currently Ukraine.  It doesn't guarantee victory, but it will dissuade invaders/usurpers who aren't willing to accept a lot of casualties.

To the specific kind of case we saw in Highland Park, Crimo was 21.  Plus, others who aren't can get straw buyers or steal guns--Harris, Klebold, Lanza, and frankly most gang-bangers in the big cities.  Again, where is enforcement of the 1968 Gun Control Act?  

What might make a big difference is to seriously harden soft targets.  Having a parade, a concert, etc..?  Tell me about your security team.  Tell me what rooftops are going to be occupied by someone with at least a spotting scope to watch out for trouble.  Tell me whether you've called in the police department's civilian auxiliary (the guys who help out with the beer tent at the county fair, yes) to keep an eye on things.  They'll do it for a hot dog and a Coke--they were planning on being at the parade anyways.

We've tried tight control of the tools and failed.  It's time to try something else.


Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

T Howard's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

garding the notion of armed civilians standing up to an invading army, well, that's exactly what happened in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and currently Ukraine.  It doesn't guarantee victory, but it will dissuade invaders/usurpers who aren't willing to accept a lot of casualties.

Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Ukraine are significantly different. They had / have "help" in their efforts to defeat their enemies. Vietnam without China's aid would have been over pretty quickly.  Same with Korea. Ukraine is getting significant help from the West, and Russia's war fighting capability isn't even close to the American military. The people of Afghanistan and our politicians lost that conflict, not the U.S. military.

So, again, if Bubba and his buddies think they are going to repel the U.S. military with their AR-15s and pickup trucks, they are seriously deluded.

As for the effectiveness of gun laws, while not generally a fan, we do need to keep guns away from people who don't have the maturity or mental capacity to use them safely. Hardening targets just means more big brother surveillance, TSA-like security checkpoints, etc. No thanks.

I'd like to go to the county fair without a fullbody scan or cavity search.

Bert Perry's picture

Tom, I think there's a nice happy medium between "no police at large events" and "police state".  My thought is that having a few guys watching the rooftops to avoid major issues is hardly the kind of surveillance that the Gestapo, Stasi and KGB did in days of old, to put it mildly.  What I'm thinking of is more akin to the mayor of towns in Europe posting a few guards on the walls at night, and a few night watchmen (Ezekiel 33, no?) to deal with bandits in the city.  

You want police state, let's talk about social credit scores and the like being done in China.  Jeremy Bentham wrote about it with his Panoptikon.

Regarding citizen armed resistance, the point is not to defeat the other power in pitched battle.  It is rather to inflict enough pain on the aggressor that he eventually decides it's not worth it to continue.  Washington did it in our Revolution, Ho Chi Minh did it in Vietnam, and the Afghans do it to everybody almost all the time, including each other when there's not a convenient foreign power around.  You can do that with your ARs, or (Afghanistan) even WW1-era Enfields.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JD Miller's picture

How many of these shootings were in gun free zones?  How many were in places where there were a lot of gun regulations already on the books vs areas where there were few regulations?  Should we expect more or less crime in areas where there are few regulations but those regulations are enforced vs areas where there are many regulations but they are not enforced?  What concerns many are the areas where regulations are enforced on people who typically follow the law, but are ignored among those who already have a criminal rap sheet.  When that happens it is no surprise that shootings go up.