In a recent New Yorker article, longtime columnist Adam Gopnick coined the term “mini-massacre.”
It’s “a gun killing that is horrific in its shock and numerous in its casualties but not sufficiently large enough in the number of dead to really register as a major event,” Gopnik wrote.
This term seems apropos when considering the Mass Shooting Tracker created by the anti-gun subreddit Guns Are Cool. According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, there have been 206 mass shootings so far in 2015 — one for every day of the year.
It is important to note the Mass Shooting Tracker defines a mass shooting as a shooting spree in which four or more people are shot. The folks at Guns Are Cool notes that this differs from the FBI definition in which an event only qualifies as a mass shooting if four or more people are killed.
“The most obscene incidents of gun violence usually do not make the mainstream news at all,” Guns Are Cool writes on the reddit page for the Mass Shooting Tracker. “Why? Because their definition is incorrect. The mainstream news meaning of “mass shooting” should more accurately be described as ;mass murder.'”
Some examples of these “mini-massacres” include a seven-person shooting in Philadelphia on June 22, a shooting that left two people dead, including a police officer, in Navajo Nation, Arizona on March 20, and a triple murder suicide just last Wednesday in Forsyth County, Georgia — the day before the movie theatre shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana that left three more people dead.
Some of these shootings are so horrifying it seems odd they didn’t generate national news coverage.
Can you recall hearing about two teenagers and two adults being shot to death in their home in Holly Hill, South Carolina on July 15? What about a shooting that left one dead and 11 injured at a child’s birthday party in Detroit on June 20? Even a “door-to-door shooting rampage” that left eight people dead in the rural town of Tyrone, Missouri on February 27 only received fleeting national attention — and the very next day eight more people were killed in mass shootings in Baltimore, Tarboro, North Carolina, and Columbia, Missouri.
In June, following another mass shooting at a historical black church in Charleston, president Obama said in an interview with comedian Marc Maron that mass shootings are not the new normal in America.
“I don’t foresee any real action being taken [on gun control] until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves this is not normal,” Obama said.
However, even if mass shootings aren’t normal, they appear to be a daily part of American life.
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