- Mass shootings aren’t just becoming more frequent in America – they’re also becoming more deadly.
- The high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday was the 8th deadliest in modern US history.
- Americans are 10 times more likely to die a violent death at the barrel of a gun than residents of any other rich, industrialized country.
It’s February, and Americans are already facing their 30th mass shooting of the year.
On Valentine’s Day, 17 people were gunned down and killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida by a 19-year-old former student armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, which he bought legally in that state.
Americans are now getting so used to hearing about carnage on school campuses, at music festivals, and during religious services, that they’re resigned to a cycle of thoughts, prayers, and inaction that has become the norm.
But mass shootings aren’t just becoming more common in the US. When they happen, they’re also killing more people than they used to. Take a look at how many of the deadliest mass shootings in the US have happened in the past two years:
Four of the eight most fatal shootings in modern American history have happened since June 2016, less than two years ago.
The deadly 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, California, when 14 people were killed, doesn’t even make this list. The Columbine shooting, which gutted the nation’s collective conscience when 12 students and one teacher were murdered at the Colorado high school in 1999, would now be far down the current list of deadly American massacres.
The killings are becoming so predictable and so common that some politicians seem to have their stump speeches for such events prepped and ready.
“We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel, anywhere else,” Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy complained to his colleagues in an impromptu speech from the Senate floor on Wednesday.
That assertion is not just Murphy’s political opinion.
Over a lifetime, Americans are almost 50% more likely to die in a shooting than they are to get killed while riding in a car, truck, or van – a 1-in-315 chance of death by violent gun assault.
To put those numbers in perspective with the rest of the world, people in the US are at least ten times more likely to die at the barrel of a gun than anybody else living in a high-income, developed country.
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