The FBI defines mass shootings as four or more deaths. But there is something amiss with this definition. There are murders involving multiple victims almost every day in our major urban centers, and these killings do not always make the list of mass shootings. Indeed, other statistics indicate the epidemic of gun violence is far worse than most of us imagine.
Here are some figures that underscore the bloodbath that is taking place in this country. Between 2003-2013, 3,380 Americans were killed by terrorist attacks. During the same period, firearms, according to CNN, killed 406,496 Americans. Of the latter figure, 156,000 died in homicides.
As if the above statistics are not bad enough look at the following as reported by the Brady Campaign:
• One in three people in the U.S. knows someone who has been shot.
• On average, 31 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.
• Every day on average, 55 people kill themselves with a firearm, and 46 people are shot or killed in an accident with a gun.
The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population.