On Thursday October 1, 2015, a shooter opened fire on students at a local community college in Oregon. According to the Washington Post, early reports indicate “numerous fatalities and a number of additional people wounded.”
This latest shooting highlights a deeply tragic and troublesome point: there have been 294 mass shootings—shootings where more than four people are either injured or killed—in the United States in 2015 alone. In other words, in just 274 days there have been 294 mass shootings.
This information comes from Mass Shootings Tracker, which defines “mass shootings” more broadly than the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to the FBI, there must be at least four or more people killed during the shooting.
It’s an important distinction none-the-less, as Mass Shootings Tracker highlights some of the violent shootings that the FBI does not acknowledge as "mass shootings" in their reports. There are dozens of violent cases from around the nation that are ignored or swept away since they are not considered “mass shootings,” yet they paint a truly horrific picture of gun control laws today.
If anyone tries to tell you that gun violence is not an issue today, simply show them the calendar that Mass Shootings Tracker has created. For example, for more than six days in September there were more than three reported mass shootings every day.
This is only getting worse. Whether you believe that gun violence runs hand-in-hand with mental illness or whether you believe gun laws need to be more restrictive in order to help avoid these incidents, there is no denying that the United States has the worst rate of gun violence in the world.
The United States has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, with more than 88 out of 100 people owning a gun. Of the homicides committed in the United States, more than 60 percent are carried out with a firearm.
According to the Washington Post, “America sees far more gun violence than countries in Europe, and Canada, India and Australia, which is perhaps how it gets its bloody reputation among comparatively peaceful nations.”