Another day in America brings forth another shooting incident. Today, it was in Reno at the Nevada Advanced Medicine building near the Renown Regional Medical Center. There was one killed and two people injured by the shooter before he took his own life. At this time, there’s no motive known, and maybe time will reveal what was the issue. What time won’t do is bring back the deceased person who was the victim.
Reading up on this, I came across a site at Reddit.com that tracks what they call “mass shootings” called Guns Are Cool. Reading their definition of “mass shooting” and comparing that to the media’s definition, it pushes up the count quite significantly above and beyond what the media counts as mass shootings.
The most obscene incidents of gun violence usually do not make the mainstream news at all. Why? Because their definition is incorrect. The mainstream news meaning of “Mass Shooting” should more accurately be described as “Mass Murder”.
The old FBI definition of Mass Murder (not even the most recent one) is four or more people murdered in one event. It is therefore only logical that a Mass Shooting is four or more people shot in one event.
Here at GrC, we count the number of people shot rather than the number people killed because, “shooting” means “people shot”.
For instance, in 2012 Travis Steed and others shot 18 people total. Miraculously, he only killed one. Under the incorrect definition of mass shooting, that event would not be considered a mass shooting! Arguing that 18 people shot during one event is not a mass shooting is absurd.
The only requirement is that four or more people are shot in a spree or setting, likely without a cooling off period. This may include the gunman himself (because they often suicide by cop or use a gun to kill themselves to escape punishment), or police shootings of civilians around the gunman. The reasoning behind the latter being that if the shooter is arrested, he will often be charged with injuring people the police actually shot, as that is a foreseeable result of a shooting spree.
According to their list, there have been 351 mass shootings to date in the United States, and that doesn’t include the Reno shooting today. As today is the 351st day of the year, that averages out to one shooting where four or more people were shot every single day of the year this year. You will likely never hear that number repeated by the media, nor will you see it debated much across the internet.
That site lists every single incident with links to news stories to verify the stories. You hear people talk about the violence in Chicago, but Chicago accounts for 16 of these incidents over the entire year. That’s not to say that Chicago hasn’t seen it’s fair share of gun violence. However, simply dismissing gun violence as an urban issue is easily disproven when looking at the places on this list.
I’m not advocating for or against gun control here. What I want to do is highlight reality without all the subterfuge. In my honest opinion, America is and will always be a violent country. Our country was founded in violence when we separated from England by way of the Revolutionary War. When slavery was abolished, it was by way of the Civil War and the results of that violence. When we expanded territory, it was usually by way of the gun when we took land from the First Nations who were already here.
We owe it to ourselves to be honest, even if the truth hurts. With the estimated 300,000 guns in circulation in this country, we are never going to rid ourselves of guns. We simply have to learn to live safely with them in our society.
Instead of trying to restrict access and such to guns, we should focus on training and educating people in safety aspects. Sure, there will be people who will somehow gain access to guns when they should not have that access. No system of denial will ever be 100% foolproof. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t better train ourselves to deal with deadly situations much better than how we’ve done to date. After we run through the usual suspects, mental health, video game violence, and such, we will have to get to the root issue of access if we really are interested in curbing the senseless deaths in this country. Otherwise, we’re simply twiddling our thumbs and hoping that our number isn’t called in one of these incidents. By then, it will be too late for us to do something about it.
- Mass shootings in America: the year since Sandy Hook (telegraph.co.uk)
- Frum: The lesson we didn’t learn from Newtown (cnn.com)
- Before the media starts reporting about the shooting at Arapahoe High School, I pray they read this… (youngcons.com)
- Mass Shooting Epidemic Continues One Year After Newtown (addictinginfo.org)
- How U.S. has changed since massacre (cnn.com)