More Mass Shootings than Days in the Year

As of August 5, which was the 217th day of the year, American has seen 255 mass shootings. In the past nine days, there was:

  • A shooting in a historic district of Dayton, Ohio, with nine killed and 27 injured.
  • A shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas, with 22 killed and at least 24 wounded.
  • A shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, with three killed and 15 injured.
  • A shooting at a Brooklyn block party, with one killed and 11 injured.
  • A shooting at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, with two killed and two injured.*
Trump blames the problem on insanity and the Internet, but not on guns and certainly not on his White Supremacist rhetoric. As his supporters are fond of saying,

"Guns don't kill people; people kill people;" and 

"If you take away their guns, killers will just find some other weapon;" and

"The world is a dangerous place, and I need a gun to protect myself and my family;" and

"The problem isn't too many guns; it's too few guns;" and

"Gun ownership is my Constitutional right;" and 

"Mass murder is the price of freedom;" and

"These killings are God's punishment because America legalized gay marriage;"and

"Reports of mass shootings are just one more example of fake news."

There is now hope. It comes from the fact that America's powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association,  has been greatly weakened by internal scandals, combined with the fact that every mass killing is noticeably bringing the country that much closer to effective measures. Unfortunately, these measures will likely happen at the speed of women's equality in Saudi Arabia, and, of course, the people affected all have guns. How many guns? 393 million compared to a mere 133-million for all the armies on earth.**




Elephant's Child said...

I watch in horror.
Yes a determined killer will find other ways, but guns make mass killings so much easier.
We had one mass shooting, and the government of the day (the equivalent of your Republicans) stepped in quickly and instituted a gun buy-back, and restrictions on the availability of guns (and who could have them). It worked. At least in part because guns are not part of our culture as they are in yours.

Emma Springfield said...

All the senseless killings are heartbreaking. A five-year=old girl whose parents were killed in El Paso is wondering if she will be killed next. A child should not even have access to thoughts like that.

Snowbrush said...

Marion, you pulled your comment! You described this post as hysterically funny, but you didn't say what it was that you found funny, which leaves to speculate that your enjoyment came from one or more perceived inaccuracies, but what inaccuracies? Surely the most outrageous thing that I referred to concerned people who claim that reports of these shootings are a conspiracy of lies on the part of the anti-gun lobby in conjunction with what our president refers to as the "fake news media." You say you don't listen to talk radio or television, and perhaps you don't read a newspaper either, in which case you might not be aware that such people exist. For example, Alec Jones is a radio host that Trump listens to and has often praised, yet Jones described the Sandy Hook murders of first graders and their teachers as a hoax on the part of the entire town: Here's a recent link regarding a lawsuit filed against Jones and other deniers of the Sandy Hook massacre by the parents of the deceased:

Snowbrush said...

"Yes a determined killer will find other ways, but guns make mass killings so much easier."

When the gun crowd claims that thwarted shooters will use other methods, they apparently don't realize that it is extremely rare in other countries, and although they imply that these "other methods" are both effective and numerous, they never spell out just what those methods are. The fact is that AR-15s have a panache (in the minds of mass murderers) that running people down with a truck doesn't. These guys are always described as standing calmly while those around them beg, fall before bullets, or try to run, and they simply wouldn't get the same feeling from crushing people with a vehicle. It's also notable that few of them have getaway plans, and most had expressed an interest in suicide before the shooting. This death wish points to another problem with a vehicle because if the vehicle becomes disabled, the cops are less likely to shoot the murderer, and unless he cuts his throat, capture is almost certain. Of course, if people are denied access to guns, I'm sure they COULD use bombs and Molotov Cocktails, but manufacturing a bomb requires planning, the purchase of materials, and rudimentary intelligence, and hence a greater likelihood of either blowing oneself up prematurely or being arrested before the bomb can be used. As for Molotov Cocktails, they're a one-trick pony. Then there's poison, but what poison and how to administer it? The fact is that nothing works so well and is so idiot-proof as a military style assault rife. A major puzzler for me about mass shooters is that they commonly imagine that they're heroically sacrificing their lives in order to hasten a desirable goal. For example, the manifesto of the Texas shooter contained the same xenophobic language that Trump uses (Trump refers to Hispanics as vermin and invaders, and has joked about solving the immigration problem by shooting people (, but why on earth would anyone imagine that killing ten, or twenty, or thirty people would accomplish anything? Perhaps they imagine that they're firing the first shot in a revolution.

Something else that I don't understand is why these killer's parents never publicly apologize profusely for bringing them into the world. It's surely the least they can do.
I know.

"A five-year-old girl whose parents were killed in El Paso is wondering if she will be killed next. A child should not even have access to thoughts like that."

As I write this, Peggy is serving as a judge at a convention, and she worries that if someone gets mad because they didn't win a competition, they'll get their gun out of their car and kill her. Although, statistically, the risk of this is low, such things happen so frequently, and in such diverse places, that one comes to feel that if you're around other people, you're in danger. Just look at the shootings I listed. People murdered at a garlic festival--my god, if you can be killed by a mass murderer at a garlic festival, you can be killed anywhere. As for Walmart, its owners say that "our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," but they fail to mention there is way too much money to be made from the sale of guns for Walmart to stop selling guns.

Marion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

Another example of how in a democracy a well-organized, well-funded minority can force its views and policies on the rest of us. The irony is that many gun owners favor sensible regulation,and do not support the NRA. It will take courage from a few reasonable Republicans, and the Democrats from gun-owning states and districts, to bring about real change. Let's hope they do it, and soon.

Snowbrush said...

"I did NOT POST ANYTHING on this post, much less calling killing people “hysterically funny”."

Marion, you regularly ridicule my posts, so I wasn't even surprised. I just found the referenced comment two or three posts back (on the cat post). You wrote it AFTER this post went up, and your two references to guns caused me to conclude that it was inspired by this post. I quote in part: "Snow, you’re killing me. (That’s a metaphor). I read your entire rants...excuse me, posts. Why, I don’t know. You’re an old fart set in your ways and I’m a hippie/gypsy/poet...I’ll refrain from sharing my opinions for a while. I wouldn’t want to trigger you...."

Now, do you regard these shootings as "fake news," and if you don't, what if any limitations on gun ownership would you support?

"The irony is that many gun owners favor sensible regulation,and do not support the NRA."

Tom, I grew up with guns, and I still own guns. I used to be an active NRA member, and, until the fun wore off, I went about town armed (I had a "concealed carry" permit). I especially valued having guns when Peggy and I used to camp in remote areas, and after two people and their dog were shot to death in an area where we had recently camped (the killer or killers was never caught), I REALLY valued my guns. Even now, if I hear a scary noise, I sometimes take a gun along when I investigate it, and if my life were threatened--or if anyone's life was threatened--I wouldn't hesitate to shoot the bad guy if that was the only way I had to stop him. All that notwithstanding, the point here is not the welfare of the individual but of society, and frame it how you will, societies that have few guns have few mass murderers. Because of these constant shootings, we are becoming a nation of hyper-vigilant people who are increasingly afraid to go out in public, and then there are the "active shooter" drills in our schools. How can anyone so value guns that owning guns is worth this endless misery and death?

"The irony is that many gun owners favor sensible regulation, and do not support the NRA."

The rub is in the word sensible because what I consider sensible, you might--and, I suspect, would--consider radical, and Marion might--and, I suspect, would--regard as a clear case of Left Coast insanity. I have no trouble believing that millions of gunowners are appalled by the hateful conspiracist rhetoric of the NRA, yet I would expect that the same people who held their noses and voted for Trump because they felt that they had no reasonable choice, would also hold their noses and send in their membership to the NRA for the same reason. If owning guns is at the top of a person's list of core values, where else is he or she going to turn?

Strayer said...

Horrible all the innocent lives lost to domestic terrorists. I can't wrap my brain or heart around what went on in that Walmart in Texas. I can't wrap my brain around the fact the Dayton shooter got off 41 rounds in 30 seconds either. People stand no chance against something like that. You barely have time to react. I saw a big old huge pickup in Albany the other day. Had a bumper sticker that read "Nobody Needs an Assault Rifle". Absolutely true.

Snowbrush said...

Trump supporters in Eugene will be holding a "God, Guns, and Trump Rally" tomorrow, a week after the Texas shooting. It will happen across the street from a large weekly street market (thousands attend), and a major Gay Pride March is also scheduled. The Trump are expecting forty people and a lot of assault rifles, Oregon being a state where it's legal to walk around town carrying a gun. They seem intent on holding this rally when they know they will receive maximum resistance, apparently assuming that the other side will come unarmed.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

It is crazy how we have such high airport security but nothing worth for guns and users. How is that possible?
Why does anyone need a gun these days? We are losing our planet to our ugly ways and we need to have hate and guns to make hate crimes ? People need to worry about ice melting and heat rising and dealing with that or millions will die. Too bad we cannot get anything done these days except to bicker and argue while there are some very serious weather patterns changing all around us and we seem to not really care. Yes gun shootings are ugly. So is war and we ought to stop killings of any kind and band together to beat the heat for it is serious.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Not only are guns killing in your US but over that past 5 years way more guns are appearing in Toronto and of course they are smuggle over. I person did a documentary the other day on how easy and fast a local can arrange to purchase a gun within hows out of the trunk of a car in a parking lot of a large mall. The choice of weapons included an assault riffle, Darn scary! I hate to imagine the blood bath that could result in that mall. I hate how all our way of life now is so endangered to the point that kids no longer walk to school alone or even just go to,play with friends in a park or on their local small suburban street. We grew up in times where doors were left unlocked and kids stayed out till street lights came on. Bikes were safe too. Maybe even cars?
Now all needs security and even that is no deterrent. Mad World.

bbet99 said...
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