Get this: there have been more mass shootings – mass shootings – in the U.S than days this year.
This is a stunning statistic, a shocking statistic. Or it should be.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a research group which tracks such things (who knew?), there have been 255 mass shootings in this country as of August 5, which was the 217th day of the year. The GVA defines a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people, excluding the shooter, are shot.
I’ll say it again. At least four people were shot 255 times so far this year in America. That’s a lot of people shot, and it includes five high-profile massacres in the past 10 days – Dayton, El Paso, Gilroy, Brooklyn and Southaven, Mississippi – in which more than 100 people were shot, with at least 37 killed.
And this doesn’t include all the other shooting incidents in this country this year, as compiled by the GVA – a total of 33,237 shootings, in which 8,796 people were killed and 17,480 were injured.
Again, these are stunning statistics. These are shocking statistics. Or they should be.
What’s really shocking is that this all isn’t shocking. Why didn’t we know about these 255 mass shootings, let alone these 33,237 shootings? Each and every one of the 255 mass shootings should have been front-page, above-the-fold news. Instead, they were relegated to the back pages, or, more likely, they were deemed local news.
Which is why they keep happening, why there’s so many of these mass shootings. They aren’t news anymore. They aren’t a big deal anymore. They are now the story of dog biting man instead of man biting dog. We have become numb to these horrific events.
This is exactly what the gun lobby wants. The same gun lobby which managed to stop federal gun control from being passed even after 20 little children were slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And which is no doubt egged on by the angry, hateful, he-man rhetoric spewing forth every day, every hour from our president.
After every one of these shootings, at least one person is quoted as saying, “This doesn’t happen here. Not here.”
Well, it does happen here. And, with the way things have been going on, it will more likely than not happen wherever here is.
“I don’t want to go out anymore,” my friend was saying yesterday, referring to all the news about the weekend’s carnage. “I’m scared.”
“I hate the NRA,” I interjected.
“NRA? What’s that?” my friend asked.You get the point. It’s time to pay attention and not let this happen anymore.