|For anyone who is keeping track of violence:
||[Jun. 10th, 2014|07:27 pm]
Since Sandy Hook, the United States is currently averaging just under one mass shooting per week. 543 days since then; 74 mass shootings.|
Edited to Add: I got it wrong: this is SCHOOL shootings, not MASS shootings. It's a different point, but still worth making.
Point of clarification: how are we defining mass shooting? "The shooter intended for there to be multiple deaths" or "there were multiple deaths"?
Don't get me wrong--it's heinous, it's all horrible, I want to go on a screaming rant about how late capitalism + patriarchy creates situations in which survival is so difficult that some of us indulge our emotions in grievously inappropriate ways, including but not limited to shooting sprees. But today's event in Oregon doesn't seem to me to qualify as a mass shooting, at least in effect.
Well, there are a bunch of different definitions. For instance, one public health definition is "Multiple discharging of firearm(s) onto a group of unarmed victims."
"Mass murder" does have an FBI definition, which is "four or more victims in a single incident". So this wouldn't count as that.
Actually wasn't it averaging nearly once a week for school shootings, as opposed to mass shootings?
Do you think media coverage is causing this epidemic to spread?
What's your reason, then, why it's becoming more common?
I think it's a growing awareness that schools, as "gun free zones," are safe targets. Any spree shooter has to assume that he's going to get killed, wounded or captured at the end of his spree, so he wants to take down as many victims as possible. A school is an excellent choice of target for this purpose, because everyone there is disarmed. When one adds to this that spree shooters are likely to be mentally-unstable young males ...? And that schools are often a major source of emotional discontent for their students ...?
Also, since you were actually talking about "school shootings" rather than "mass shootings," I would suspect gang violence figures in there, for the same main reason -- it's a soft target.
I think the "soft target" thing isn't that much of a reason. But I do think you're right that "because that's where the shooters already are" is. There are genuine biological reasons that teenagers are more emotional and less able to think through consequences than older adults -- the prefrontal lobes don't finish growing until 20 years old or older. And the extra hormones flooding the system in teenagers -- especially the testosterone in males -- makes them more emotional.
And school is where they already are.
So, yeah, I think you're right about that part. The question is -- is "one a week" higher than it used to be? There were times when I was growing up that it was that high, but then it dropped. So why is it going back up now?
Or is something like yesterday's - one killed, one injured - now more likely to make national news?