After the mass shooting of the church in Texas Sunday, we wondered just how much these horrendous events have increased over the years. We found a site that lists the mass shootings in America from 1982 till now. What we found was very disheartening. In 1982 there was only one mass shooting recorded in the U.S. In 2017 – the number is TEN. Of course we know that mass killings doesn’t need to involve ‘shooting’. Just recently a 29-year-old man plowed a truck into bikers in Manhattan – killing eight people.
There is still some question as to what is considered a mass shooting. A 2008 FBI report identifies an individual as a mass murderer—versus a spree killer or a serial killer—if he kills four or more people in a single incident (not including himself), typically in a single location. (*In 2013, the US government’s fatality baseline was revised down to three.) The list we found shows mass shootings with at least 3 casualties listed caused by one individual.
Ask anyone and you’ll get a different answer as to why the mass shootings have increased over the years. No doubt there are many factors involved and there’s not enough space here to go into the possible reasons. One factor we were curious about and checked out- the population rise over the years in the U.S. In 1982 there were 231.7 million people in the U.S. In 2016 – 323.1 million. That’s more than 91 million more people living in the U.S. Simple math could play a role in the increase of mass shootings – there are simply many more people – which means more people who may have a mental problem severe enough that could lead to them ‘snapping’ to the point of killing masses of people at once. The deadliest mass shooting to date was the Las Vegas concert shooting this past October 1st- taking 58 lives.