Thursday, October 01, 2015

Oregon college shooting is 994th mass gun attack in US in three years

The Guardian‎ 

Barack Obama put words to the desperation of millions of Americans – and the despair of the rest of the world – after another mass shooting at a school in Oregon on Thursday, the latest of nearly 1,000 since his reelection in 2012.
“Somehow,” the president said, “this has become routine.
“The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in the aftermath of it,” Obama trailed off, at once frustrated and spirited at the White House. “We’ve become numb to this ... We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg; after Tucson, after Newtown; after Aurora, after Charleston.”

The words mark a long list of tragedy. Since Obama’s reelection to a second term in November 2012 – which itself was followed by the shooting of 26 people including 20 children at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, just a few weeks later – there had been 993 mass shooting events in the United States . Thursday’s attack, at Umpqua community college in the town of Roseburg, was No 994. Almost 300 of them have occurred in 2o15.
That’s almost one every day.
Obama has spoken or issued statements 15 times in the wake of mass shooting events. “I’ve made statements like this too many times,” he said after the church shooting this June in Charleston, South Carolina.

The numbers go deeper than the statements, as the president said.
Umpqua is the 294th mass shooting event in 2015, as defined by the website, which chronicles them as an event in which four or more people are shot. Since the Newtown shooting, there have now been 994 such events in the US. The death toll of this litany of tragedy stands at approximately 1,236 people since the beginning of 2013.
By the FBI’s definition – four or more killed rather than four or more shot, a “mass murder” event rather than a “mass shooting” – there have been 45 such incidents this year, and 142 since Sandy Hook.
America’s gun problem goes deeper still: on the day of the Newtown shooting, many noted that if that had been the only shooting that day, the day’s death toll from gun violence would have been below the US average.
That was even more true on Thursday. The number of firearm homicides in 2013, the last year for which the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has statistics, was 11,208. The year before Sandy Hook, it was 107 fewer than that.
That’s just intentional homicides. Firearms are the cause of death for more than 33,000 people in America every year, according to the CDC; a number that includes both accidental discharge, murder and suicides, which are on the increase, especially in states with lax gun-control laws, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
That means guns kill more people in America every six hours than terrorist attacks did in the entire year of 2014.

On top of that, in 2010 more than 73,000 Americans were treated in hospitals for firearm-related injuries, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
This year is on track to break records. So far in 2015 there have been 39,449 total firearm incidents, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 9,940 people killed. Of those, 550 were children, and 1,962 were teenagers.
Almost half of all guns in civilian ownership on the planet are held by Americans.
And the Guardian’s The Counted project, which tracks killings by police, has thus far tracked 762 people killed by police gunfire this year alone. It is also much more dangerous to be a police officer in a state with lax gun laws, according to the American Journal of Public Health.
As former attorney general Eric Holder tweeted soon after the news of the killings broke: “We weep again as a nation”:
“I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences,” Obama said behind the podium at the White House. “Based on my experiences as president, I can’t guarantee that – and that’s a terrible thing to say.”

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