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Americans are once again left grieving and angry after two separate mass shootings over the weekend left at least 29 people dead in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
We will add the names of these cities to an already long list of communities around the country that have been traumatized by mass shootings.
That list includes: Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 first graders. The shooting at a nightclub in Thousand Oaks, California, where a man in a black trenchcoat and sunglasses killed 12 people. And a massacre on the Las Vegas Strip, in which a gunman opened fire on a large crowd and killed 58 people.
The places change, the numbers change, but the choice of weapon remains the same. In the United States, people who want to kill a lot of other people most often do it with guns.
Public mass shootings account for a tiny fraction of the country’s gun deaths, but they are uniquely terrifying because they occur without warning in the most mundane places. Most of the victims are chosen not for what they have done but simply for where they happen to be.
The New York Times notes there “There is no legal definition for the term “mass shooting,” despite its frequent use by gun control groups and the news media.” The Department of Justice defines a mass killing as “3 or more killings in a single incident”.
We reflect on another deadly week in the United States.
These stories are developing. We will update as we learn more.
Nan Whaley, Mayor, Dayton, Ohio; @nanwhaley
Dee Margo, Mayor, El Paso, Texas; @mayor_margo
Dr. Liza Gold, Clinical professor of psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center; president-elect, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law; editor, “Gun Violence and Mental Illness”
Will Sommer, Tech and internet reporter, The Daily Beast; creator, Right Richter Newsletter; @willsommer
For more, visit https://the1a.org.
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