2015 will probably go down as one of the US’s most turbulent years in mass shootings, as depicted in a map released by news broadcaster, PBS.
Using data from Shooting Tracker, PBS compiled an up-to-date map of all mass shootings that occurred this year, and it tells quite a story.
Shooting Tracker defines mass shootings as incidents when at least four people are killed or wounded, including the gunman.
So far, 355 mass shootings have taken place, the latest having occurred in San Bernandino, Calfornia last week. The incidents are seemingly concentrated in the east of the country, particularly the coastal and north-eastern states.
You can have a look at an interactive version of the map on the PBS website, where you can zoom in to see exactly where each incident took place.
Quite ironically, Americans are more afraid of extremists in the Middle East plotting their violent downfall when in reality it’s people in the middle-to-eastern part of their own country that are a more credible threat.
And oddly, while these incidents happen regularly enough for there to be, on average, one mass killing on almost every day of the year, they’re not considered “domestic terrorism” by the US government.
The country’s mainstream media outlets are not saying what needs to be said about them, either. Instead, it’s the nation’s satirists who are actually saying what many people are thinking; for instance, satire megasite The Onion trots out several articles it’s written in the past about mass shootings whenever they take place. Two years ago, The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz wrote this tongue-in-cheek article about mass shootings that’s as relevant today as it was back then, if not more so.
And yet, a lot of Americans still cling to their gun rights, guns are handed out willy-nilly (you get one when you open bank accounts/buy cars in some states) and gun-loving Americans resist efforts to implement any form of gun control on the basis of their ever-popular second amendment, a clause in the US constitution which guarantees them “the right to bear arms”.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
[Source – PBS, image CC by Emily Stanchfield]