DemDaily: This Is Us

February 15, 2018

17 people dead, 14 of them children. Yesterday's tragic shooting at a Parkland, Florida High School was the 18th school shooting of 2018.

The murders were among now hundreds of mass shootings (deaths of 4 people or more) over the last fifty years in a country - our country - that boasts a gun-related murder rate 25 times higher than any other high-income nation.

Parkland parents wait to find out if their children are among the dead

The Victims
Of the top twenty deadliest shootings in American History, fifteen have occured in the last twenty years, and three have occured in the last five months.

In Order of Number Killed
October 1, 2017:  Las Vegas, Nevada, Route 91 Music Festival
Lone gunman, 23 firearms, some modified for "fully automatic" firing
Killed: 58.  Injured: 500+

June 12, 2016:  Orlando, Florida, Pulse Nightclub
Lone gunman, AR15 semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic pistol
Killed: 49.  Injured: 50+

April 16, 2007:  Blacksburg, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Lone gunman, two semi-automatic handguns
Killed: 32.  Injured: 23

December 14, 2012Newton, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary
Lone gunman, AR556 semi-automatic rifle, bolt-action, others
Killed: 27, including 20 children age 6-7.  Injured: 2

"This happens nowhere else other than in the United States of America.  This epidemic of mass slaughter. This scorge of school shooting after school shooting. It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction." -- Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn)

November 5, 2017Sutherland Springs, Texas, First Baptist Church
Lone gunman, AR15 semi-automatic rifle
Killed: 26.  Injured: 20

February 15, 2018:  Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Lone gunman, AR15 semi-automatic rifle
Killed: 17.  Injured: 12+
December 2, 2015San Bernardino, California, Inland Regional Center
Married couple, AR15 semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic handguns
Killed: 14.  Injured: 22

November 5, 2009:  Killeen, Texas, Fort Hood Military Base
Lone gunman, semi-automatic handguns
Killed: 13.  Injured: 42

April 3, 2009:  Binghamton, New York, New York Immigrant Centre
Lone gunman, two semi-automatic handguns
Killed: 13.  Injured: 4

April 20, 1999:  Littleton, Colorado, Columbine High School
Two teenage boys, semiautomatic handgun, assault rifle, shotguns
Killed: 13.  Injured: 24

 

September 16, 2013:  Washington, DC, Washington Navy Yard HQ
Lone gunman, shotgun and handgun
Killed: 12.  Injured: 8

July 20, 2012:  Aurora, Colorado, Century 16 Movie Theatre
Lone gunman, AR15 semi-automatic rifle and handguns, shotgun
Killed: 12   Injured: 70.

October 1, 2015:    Roseburg, Oregon,  Umpqua Community College
Lone gunman, 5 pistols, one rifle.  Killed: 9.  Injured: 9
June 17, 2015:  Charleston, South Carolina, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Lone gunman, semi-automatic handgun
Killed: 9.  Injured: 1

The Decision Makers

Attempts in recent years to further regulate firearms have been unsuccessful - hindered, in part, by a Republican controlled US House and Senate, and the power of the National Rifle Association (NRA) - which claims approximately 1/5 of gunowners as members and boasts an annual budget of $250 million.

In 2016 the NRA spent approximately $4 million on lobbying and direct political contributions and $50+ million on political advocacy, including $30 million to help elect Donald Trump president.

President Trump's response to Wednesday's tragedy avoided mention of guns, blaming it on the mental health issues of the gunman.  Last February Trump repealed an Obama-era rule that would have made it harder for people with mental illness to buy a gun.

"If he means it show leadership, do something.  I am not afraid of a Mexican invasion, I am concerned about a kid with an AR15 ... Until your kids get shot, is that what it will take? I don't know this country anymore, I don't understand it anymore. I don't know how to explain it to my kids."
 -- Sergio Rosenblatt, father of surviving high school child, appealing to President Trump and Congress

What Can You Do?
Talk to your children, Talk to your Legislator, Vote

Links
Sign A Petition to Congress: Change.Org

 

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: MSNBC, The Guardian, CNN, Aljazeera, MotherJones, Time, Wikipedia

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