Fre­quency of high-fa­tal­ity mass shoot­ings is ris­ing

The Northern Advocate - - World -

A shooter at a bar in Thou­sand Oaks, Cal­i­for­nia, early yes­ter­day mur­dered 12 peo­ple, in­clud­ing a sher­iff’s deputy re­spond­ing to the in­ci­dent. It’s the worst shoot­ing in­ci­dent in the United States in . . . a bit over a week.

There’s an on­go­ing de­bate about whether shoot­ing in­ci­dents gen­er­ally are be­com­ing more fre­quent. The rate of vi­o­lent crime in the United States has dropped sig­nif­i­cantly since the late 1980s and early 1990s and, de­spite some po­lit­i­cal rhetoric, re­mains near all-time lows. But there’s lit­tle ques­tion that the fre­quency of high-fa­tal­ity mass shoot­ings — for our pur­poses, in­ci­dents in which at least 10 peo­ple are killed — has in­creased.

MotherJones mag­a­zine has tracked mass shoot­ings since 1982, in­clud­ing any in­ci­dent in which at least four peo­ple were killed. From 1984 to 2004, there was an in­ci­dent in which at least 10 peo­ple were killed about once ev­ery four years. Over the past four years, there have been eight. There have been four such in­ci­dents this year alone.

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