Today a shooter opened fire at a community college in Oregon. Early media reports indicate numerous fatalities and a number of additional people wounded. That brings the total of mass shootings this year — incidents where 4 or more people are killed or injured by gunfire — to 294.
There have been only 274 days this year. The shootings are captured in this calendar, drawn from the the Mass Shooting Tracker. The tracker draws some criticism because its definition is broader than the FBI’s definition, which requires three or more people to be killed by gunfire. But the broader definition is nonetheless a useful one, because it captures many high-profile instances of violence — like the Lafayette theater shootings — that don’t meet the FBI’s criteria.
Charleston. Lafayette. Virginia. Now, Roseburg Oregon. But beneath the steady drumbeat of these high-profile cases lay the hundreds daily mass shootings that most of us never hear about. 11 wounded in a Georgia barroom. Six shot outside a Tulsa nightclub. A pregnant mom and grandmother killed, an infant wounded in Chicago.
We’ve gone no more than eight days without one of these incidents this year. On six days in September, there were 3 mass shootings or more. If the initial casualty figures in Oregon hold up, that would bring the total of deaths by mass shooting this year to 380 so far, with well over one thousand injured.
And of course, there’s the broader universe of nearly 10,000 people killed and 20,000 wounded in nearly 40,000 gun violence incidents so far this year.
These numbers only tell the smallest part of the story. And these very numbers will need to be updated again tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that.