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Half of the deadliest mass shootings in American history have occurred in the past six years

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Laura Conaway REPORTS:

If you consider the deadliest mass shootings in American history — at this point, shootings with 12 or more fatalities — you’ll find the first one happens in 1949. A deranged lone gunman’s “Walk of Death” in Camden, New Jersey, claimed the lives of 13 people.

The next one happened in 1966, when a lone gunman climbed the bell tower at the University of Texas and began shooting. He killed 16 people. The first half of the list of these horrible shootings…took place over half a century. The second half took place over just six years, from 2007 until yesterday [Monday].

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9 Comments

  1. I found this piece to be interesting.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kathleen-parker-another-mass-shooting-another-conversation/2013/09/17/86bd7302-1fdd-11e3-8459-657e0c72fec8_story.html

    Despite the redundancy of our renditions, there are some differences in gun violence today and that of more than three decades ago. Even though firearm deaths have decreased, the recent rash of spree killings — five incidents this year alone — justifies a heightened level of concern. Nearly 70 mass shootings have occurred since 1982, according to Mother Jones, 28 of them in just the past seven years. Half of the 12 deadliest mass shootings have occurred since 2005.

    Even so, for the sake of perspective, these represent a tiny fraction of total gun deaths. They’re more horrific, so we take greater notice. But they represent less than 1 percent of all gun deaths between 1980 and 2008, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Indeed, nearly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides (19,392 of a total of 31,672 in the United States in 2010).

    In other words, the reflex to make tougher laws may be missing more important points. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t consider imposing restrictions on who owns guns, but as my guy in Starke suggested, there’s little comfort in forcing law-abiding citizens to submit to tighter controls knowing that criminals will not.

    As for the crazies who go on killing sprees, rules rarely apply.

    Thus, what we’re really fighting about in our national debate about guns is how to stop mentally ill people from wreaking havoc on society. And what are the causes that lead to the breakdowns that lead to the slaughter?

    No wonder we’d rather limit magazine sizes.

    Much more difficult to process and “fix” are the multitude of factors that lead a sick person to seek company in death. What we know about such people is that they tend to be loners and narcissists (low self-esteem, lacking in empathy, quick to take offense and blame others) who act impulsively and seek attention (and revenge) in dramatic and public ways.

    That we have more such characters than we used to — or that they seem more inclined to act on their impulses — may have less to do with guns than with underlying cultural causes. No, I’m not singling out video games or family dissolution or any other single factor, though none should be excluded.

    If we don’t take a serious look at the environment that spawns these individuals, we’ll likely be having this same conversation another 30 years from now.

  2. Craig Knauss

    doc,

    I don’t suppose you’ve noticed that most of these “crazies”, in the past six years, had somehow acquired semi-automatic weapons with large capacity magazines that enabled them to fire many shots in a short period of time? And I don’t suppose that you’ve noticed that the NRA opposes any effort whatsoever that may make it harder for “law abiding citizens” to buy guns, especially semi-automatic weapons with large capacity magazines? And I don’t suppose you’ve noticed that anyone who has not been convicted of a felony or declared legally insane is a “law abiding citizen”?

    doc, do you have any proof whatsoever that there are a higher percentage of “crazies” out there now, committing massacres, than there used to be? Or is it because now the “crazies” can get much better weapons than they had before?

    Look at the graphic, doc, and think how many more human beings could have been killed if those first two mass shooters (1949 and 1966) had acquired semi-automatic weapons.

  3. I have noticed all of those things.

    I also noticed that this weeks shooting was accomplished with shotgun.

  4. Craig Knauss

    “I also noticed that this weeks shooting was accomplished with shotgun.”

    Which was purchased in Virginia where there are minimal gun controls. Wasn’t it?

    Yes, there were failings all around on this guy. However, since he was not a convicted felon and since he had not been declared legally insane, would it have made any difference?

    Almost all of our mass murderers were “law abiding citizens” before the massacres. Weren’t they?

  5. So your point is what Craig?

    All kinds of criminals are law abiding citizens until they aren’t anymore.

    I truly don’t have a political axe to grind on this issue, I would only be interested in solutions that work and are legal. I am neither and NRA member, nor a gun owner.

    Could you ban the sales of magazines and assault rifles? I guess, but to have any effect you would probably have to make it a felony to own such items and then they still wouldn’t go away.

    Besides, this particular crazy started his spree with a shotgun. Are you talking about banning and removing shotguns from circulation in this country?

    You should read this too

    http://nation.time.com/2013/09/17/navy-yard-shooters-gun-purchase-was-probably-legal-any-way-you-cut-it/

    Recently defeated federal gun-control measures wouldn’t have stopped Alexis’ purchase either. Legislation co-sponsored by Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Joe Manchin of West Virginia in April would have provided grants to states to improve the national crime database and include mental-health records for the seriously mentally ill. But while Alexis’ father told police that his son had anger-management issues and suffered from posttraumatic-stress disorder, there is no evidence that any member of his family sought legal action for his reported mental-health issues.

    In other words, neither current nor proposed laws would have blocked Alexis from arming himself.

    Read more: http://nation.time.com/2013/09/17/navy-yard-shooters-gun-purchase-was-probably-legal-any-way-you-cut-it/#ixzz2fMJbX7kG

  6. So your point is what Craig?

    All kinds of criminals are law abiding citizens until they aren’t anymore.

    I truly don’t have a political axe to grind on this issue, I would only be interested in solutions that work and are legal. I am neither and NRA member, nor a gun owner.

    Could you ban the sales of magazines and assault rifles? I guess, but to have any effect you would probably have to make it a felony to own such items and then they still wouldn’t go away.

    Besides, this particular crazy started his spree with a shotgun. Are you talking about banning and removing shotguns from circulation in this country?

    You should read this too

    http://nation.time.com/2013/09/17/navy-yard-shooters-gun-purchase-was-probably-legal-any-way-you-cut-it/

    Recently defeated federal gun-control measures wouldn’t have stopped Alexis’ purchase either. Legislation co-sponsored by Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Joe Manchin of West Virginia in April would have provided grants to states to improve the national crime database and include mental-health records for the seriously mentally ill. But while Alexis’ father told police that his son had anger-management issues and suffered from posttraumatic-stress disorder, there is no evidence that any member of his family sought legal action for his reported mental-health issues.

    In other words, neither current nor proposed laws would have blocked Alexis from arming himself.

  7. Craig Knauss

    doc,

    I guess I have to spell it out for you.

    A) We need a much better NATIONAL system for monitoring people who shouldn’t have access to firearms. That would require better reporting of violent incidents with or without convictions and also of people getting treatment for potentially serious mental conditions. But that would require new laws which the NRA and the far-right would oppose.

    B) We need better NATIONAL control on the sale of firearms of all types, and especially on the sale of weapons of dubious sporting value, such as the weapons the punks used in Columbine or Newtown. But that would require new laws which the NRA and the far-right would oppose.

    C) Until such time as the NRA and the far-right gets serious about reducing the large number of firearm deaths in this country, we’re all just going to have to get used to it. Assuming that we don’t get shot ourselves.

    Does that clear it up for you?

  8. You can oppose the sale of all guns if you want, but it won’t likely fix the problem. I think we already have more guns than people in this country and my family of 5 owns zero.

    I bet increased reporting of “serious mental conditions” wouldn’t just be opposed by the NRA.

    Here is some interesting information on that topic.

    http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2013/04/25/what-does-hipaa-have-to-do-with-gun-control-maybe-more-than-you-think/

  9. Craig Knauss

    The NRA may or may not oppose reporting of serious mental conditions. It depends on how a “serious mental condition” is defined. Brandishing a gun outside a school is a no-brainer. But how about these people who feel they need to be armed to attend church or to check their mailbox? Are they seriously disturbed? You’d be surprised at how many people in my community carry concealed weapons to church, even though this isn’t a high crime area.

    And what about banning the dubious sporting weapons? The NRA wouldn’t support a ban on flame throwers or rocket propelled grenades or .50 caliber machine guns. Should those be legalized too or should we pull back some of the questionable hardware that’s out there now, like the Tech-9 pistols the Columbine punks used?

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