In 185 days of this year, 309 mass shootings in United States
- US has witnessed 309 mass shootings so far this year
- In 2021, there were 692 mass shootings
- A mass shooting is an attack where at least four people are killed
The Fourth of July Highland Park mass shooting Monday that killed at least six people is an immense tragedy. But the shootout has not sent shockwaves through the nation. Tragedies of the sort have become passe in the US, for the nation has witnessed 309 mass shootings over the last six months and four days. In the four days of July that has passed, US has seen at least 11 mass shootings.
In Monday’s shooting, the “person of interest”, a 22-year-old named Robert E Crimo III, has been taken into custody. Police say the gunman used a “high-powered rifle” from the roof of a commercial building. “So very random, very intentional and very sad,” were the words used by Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli.
The words, however, were hardly unique. These random killings, motivated by deeper recesses of psychological trouble or ideological persuasion, have significantly affected the sense of security among citizens.
On May 24, Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old, opened fire at an elementary school in Texas killing 21 people and injuring 17. This was the deadliest school shooting in the United States since the Sandy Hook massacre.
Only 10 days prior to this, a shootout at a Buffalo mall, motivated by racial hate, caused the death of 10 people. Mass shootings in the US happen with depressing regularity. A mass shooting, according to Gun Violence Archive (GVA), an independent data collection organisation, defines a mass shooting as an incident where at least four or more people are killed.
GVA data indicates that there were 692 such mass shootings in 2021, 610 in 2020 and 417 in 2019.
Mark Follman, author of the book “Trigger Points” and someone who has been studying mass shootings since 2012 told NPR the role of mental health in case of mass shooters is widely misunderstood.
“The general public views mass shooters as people who are totally crazy, insane. It fits with the idea of snapping, as if these people are totally detached from reality.” But that’s not the case, according to Follman, who started studying mass shootings after a gunman killed 12 people at a movie theatre in Aurora. He says a “very rational thought process” goes into planning and carrying out mass shootings.