On Wednesday morning news emerged that another shooting had taken place in the United States. The attack left 14 people dead and another 17 injured after husband and wife, Syed Rizwan and Tashfeen Malik, opened fire inside a social services agency building in San Bernardino, California. The fateful attack was the deadliest mass shooting since 20-year-old Adam Lanza unleashed havoc in the Sandy Hook school massacre in 2012, where 26 children and teachers lost their lives.
As details surrounding the most recent murdering spree emerge, President Obama revealed in an interview with CBS News that America has “a pattern now of mass shooting in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.”
In the wake of the tragic events that took place in San Bernardino he revealed that there are some steps that the country can take, not to eliminate all shootings, but to help improve the odds that they do not happen as frequently. These include: improving “common sense,” “stronger background checks” and “gun safety laws” – at the moment the U.S. have a no fly list that stops individuals who pose a terrorist threat from boarding a plane, but there is nothing preventing these people from entering a store and purchasing a gun.
According to ShootingTracker.com (a database maintained by the Guns Are Cool subreddit that cites a list of mass shootings in America) there have been 355 mass shootings this year so far, already surpassing the total in 2014 by 19. The site uses a broader definition of “mass shooting” – it tracks incidents in which four or more people are killed or injured by gunfire, including the gunman.
PBS News Hour have used this data to create a map of the shootings that have occurred in 2015, including a second attack which also took place on Wednesday in Savannah, Georgina. The mass firing took one life and injured three others but was overshadowed in the media by the events that took place in San Bernardino.
However, this being said the definition of a “mass shooting” is yet to be standardised – the FBI characterise the term as a single shooting where four or more people are killed. Definitions aside, one thing’s for sure, there are too many of them going on in the U.S. today and they need to be stopped in one way or another.