The government has never defined “mass shooting” as a standalone category. Let’s go with the most commonly accepted definition
, from the Congressional Research Service
: a shooting in which a gunman …
That definition rules out the Congressional baseball practice shooting
or the incident at the UPS facility
this week because neither gunman killed four people. In last week’s Orlando shooting spree
, the gunman killed five people — but that attack doesn’t count either because police say he targeted
Using that narrow definition, from January 1 to June 14, we have seen 8 deadly mass shootings.
That’s an average of 1.3 mass shootings a month.
If you go with the raw numbers …
What if you didn’t rule out motive and just considered the casualty count? According to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive
, which compiles data from shooting incidents, a “mass shooting” is any incident where four or more people are wounded or killed
(including the killer).
By that definition, from January 1 to June 14, we have seen 154 mass shootings.
That averages to 6.7 mass shootings a week.
It’s troubling however you look at it
Whatever definition you consider, the instances are too depressingly frequent.
From 1966 to 2012, nearly a third
of the world’s mass shootings took place in the US. This is according to a study
last year that used the Congressional Research Service definition of “mass shooting.”
It surveyed 292 incidents and found 90 of them occurred in America. Put another way: While the US has 5% of the world’s population, it had 31% of all public mass shootings.