Editorial: Address the death toll in mass shootings

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 12:44:51 AM. Mass shootings, though they feel like weekly occurrences, are statistically rare. How rare depends on how a mass shooting is defined. There is no official standard. Use a loose standard – any incident in which four or more people are killed or wounded...
Mass shootings, though they feel like weekly occurrences, are statistically rare. How rare depends on how a mass shooting is defined. There is no official standard. Use a loose standard – any incident in which four or more people are killed or wounded – and the rate tops one per day. Change that to one in which four or more people are killed with a firearm in the absence of a gang war, crime or military conflict, the standard used in one Minnesota study, and the rate falls to a bit more than three per year. What’s different is the number of people killed in mass shootings. The death toll, as in the recent shootings in Las Vegas and Texas, is often in double figures. That can be attributed to the killing power of military weapons configured for civilian use and the availability of large-capacity ammo clips. There have been many calls, all unheeded by a Congress that cares more about campaign contributions and re-election than public safety, to severely limit both assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines. We support both measures. Focusing on improved mental health assessment and treatment, as the president recently advised, is a dodge. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, less than 5 percent of the 120,000 gun killings in the first decade of this century were committed by people with a diagnosed mental illness. Treatment, while it should be improved and made easily accessible to all, will not prevent all mass murders. Limiting access to...Read more
Share this

    You might also like