Yet another mass shooting,” lamented Pres­i­dent Obama on Monday before giving a speech marking the fifth anniver­sary of the finan­cial crisis. Mean­while, the cable news chan­nels fea­tured wall-​​to-​​wall cov­erage of the D.C. Navy Yard mas­sacre, com­plete with eye­wit­ness inter­views and telestrator-​​aided analysis of how the events had unfolded.

Com­men­tator after com­men­tator pon­dered the rea­sons why mass shoot­ings were becoming an all-​​too-​​frequent horror of Amer­ican society and asked what could have pre­vented the sense­less loss of 13 lives, including the gunman. Angry and frus­trated cit­i­zens are left ques­tioning the back­bone of law­makers at the state and fed­eral levels in failing to stand up to the NRA’s polit­ical muscle.

What­ever the polit­ical response, it is impor­tant to dispel the widely held notion that mass shoot­ings are on the rise. Over the past 30 years, there has been an average of nearly 20 mass shoot­ings a year in the U.S., each involving at least four vic­tims killed, but with no upward or down­ward tra­jec­tory. Of course, most were not of the large-​​scale public slaughter variety that grabs the atten­tion of the news media and has mil­lions of Amer­i­cans glued to their tele­vi­sion sets.

Read the article at USA Today →