Josh Berlinger of CNN reports today that the Colorado attack is the 7th mass shooting in 7 days in the US.
It seemed like there were periods in recent years in which we had a deadly mass shooting in the national news at least every week, if not several times each week. There has been something of a pause due to COVID, for understandable reasons. Unfortunately, we seem to be un-pausing now. Sadly, mass shooting rates in the U.S. seem to be getting back to normal.
But what is “normal?” It is actually hard to know what is normal for gun violence in the U.S. Here’s an interesting factoid from the article about my country’s gun problem:
It’s unclear how this number of mass shootings compares to an average week in the US.
Though some official gun violence data is available, the US federal government does not have a centralized system or database to track firearm incidents and mass shootings nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which tracks some gun violence data, nearly 40,000 people were killed in incidents involving firearms in 2019.
The article omits the reason for this: There are actually laws against government agencies, such as the CDC, accurately tracking gun violence. That’s just stupid and self-defeating. While dying due to gun violence is incredibly unlikely, statistically speaking, it is also completely unnecessary. We should treat all gun deaths as preventable and unacceptable. Only then can we have the mental and moral clarity to do something about it.