In 2015, America Averages One Mass Shooting a Day

"Now’s not the time [to talk about guns,]" Bobby Jindal said after the shooting in Charleston. But if shootings happen every single day, when is an appropriate time to talk about guns?

“Now’s not the time [to talk about guns,]” Bobby Jindal said after the shooting in Charleston. But if shootings happen every single day, when is an appropriate time to talk about guns?

This is a fact we can’t ignore. Go look at this chart.

WonkBlog’s Christopher Ingraham writes:

The Mass Shootings Tracker, a crowd-sourced tally of mass shootings maintained by the GunsAreCool subreddit, shows that we haven’t gone more than eight days without a mass shooting in the U.S. since the start of 2015 — that doesn’t leave a lot of time to grieve and regroup between shootings. We’ve averaged exactly one mass shooting per day since the start of the year. Forty eight days saw more than one mass shooting take place. On 18 days there were at least 3 shootings. On three days this year — April 18, June 13 and July 15 — there have been five shootings.

The NRA crowd will try to parse this, of course, by trying to argue the definition of “mass shooting”—some have claimed in the past that “gang violence” doesn’t count as a “mass shooting,” as though people injured or killed in gang-related crime don’t count somehow. (I don’t even have the time to get into how racist and classist that argument is, but C’MON.)

Every time the media focuses on a mass shooting, we’re told that the aftermath of a shooting isn’t the time to talk about gun violence. If these numbers hold up, America will never have an appropriate time to talk about gun violence, because mass shootings happen all the time in America.

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Paul Constant
Paul Constant has written about politics, books, and film for Newsweek, The Progressive, the Utne Reader, and alternative weeklies around the country.