According to the Gun Violence Archive
which compiles data from shooting incidents, a "mass shooting" is any incident in which a gunman ...
By that definition, according to the Gun Violence Archive, we have seen 307 mass shootings from January 1 to November 5.
That averages to almost 7 mass shootings a week.
Under the narrowest definition ...
The government has never defined "mass shooting" as a standalone category. Let's go with the most commonly accepted definition
, from the Congressional Research Service
: a shooting in which a gunman ...
- kills four or more people
- selects victims randomly (ruling out gang killings or the killing of multiple family members)
- attacks in a public place
That definition rules out the Congressional baseball practice shooting
in June, because the gunman didn't kill
four people. In September, a man shot and killed eight people
in Plano, Texas -- but that attack doesn't count either because police say the gunman had a "connection to the house."
Using that narrow definition to the Gun Violence Archive numbers, we have seen ten deadly mass shootings from January 1 to November 5.
That averages to one a month.
The five deadliest shootings in the US have occurred in roughly the past 10 years
The Las Vegas attack
was the deadliest shooting
in modern US history (at least 58 killed), and it's only 10 years removed from the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre
(32 killed) and a year removed from the second-deadliest shooting, the Orlando nightclub shooting. November's shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas is now the fifth-deadliest shooting, with at least 26 victims.
In fact, of the 30 deadliest shootings in the United States dating back to 1949, 18 have occurred in the last 10 years.
It's a largely American phenomenon
From 1966 to 2012, nearly a third
of the world's mass shootings took place in the United States. A 2016 study
looked at 292 incidents
in which four or more people were killed. It found 90 of them
occurred in America. Put another way: While the United States has about 5% of the world's population
, it had 31% of all public mass shootings
People have a greater chance of dying in mass shootings if they're at school or place of business
According to FBI data from 2013, incidents in schools and businesses
represent 7 out of 10 active shootings
. Some of the country's most high-profile mass shootings have occurred in those kinds of places: Sandy Hook