America Statistically Averaging One Mass Shooting Per Day In 2015


Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.33.01Alison Parker and Adam Ward
Yesterday saw one of the most shocking public shootings in recent history, when a man shot dead two Virginia journalists live on air.

The news of the horrific crime – in which journalist Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward lost their lives – spread like wildfire online and was met with outrage on social media, with most people speaking out against gun control laws in America – a subject regularly brought up in the wake of incidents like these.

People raising these issues have grounds for their outrage, as yesterday’s shooting was the 247th mass shooting this year in the US, and we are only 238 days into 2015.


The stats in question come from GunsAreCool, a very sarcastically named subreddit run by moderators who consistently and regularly track gun violence in America.

In this subreddit, a mass shooting is defined by any single incident in which four people are shot, and can include the perpetrator. This definition is much broader than the one the FBI use, which requires at least three people to be killed by gunfire.

However, any shooting incident that involves four people being shot – in my opinion – can reasonably be defined as a mass shooting. I’m sure if four people were shot in one incident in the UK, the media would report it as such. But each to their own, as they say.

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Furthermore, should we really be arguing about how to define these situations? If three or more people are being shot in incidents that are becoming increasingly frequent, there is quite clearly a problem that needs fixing.

But apparently there is no easy solution, and America – whose level of gun violence is like nothing seen in other wealthy Western nations – faces a huge task if they are to get anywhere at all.