In One Chart: Chart shows 4-year high for lone shooters like at the Virginia Walmart and Colorado LGBTQ club — but they’re not the worst perpetrators of gun violence

by | Nov 23, 2022 | Stock Market

When the 22-year-old alleged gunman opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle inside a LGBTQ-friendly nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., killing five people and leaving 25 injured last weekend, the attack marked the 11th mass shooting in 2022 so far. That’s the most since 2018, according to one count. Read: 5 dead in shooting at Colorado gay nightclub; suspect arrested after being subdued by patrons

And that count was published before Tuesday night’s shooting, reportedly by an employee, in a Virginia Walmart
That violence left six people dead and others injured. The assailant is also dead. 2022’s number of mass homocides by a lone shooter to date has been the highest in at least four years. Also notable, some of the worst casualities in recent years have been at entertainment venues, where joyous revelers stand in haunting contrast to the violence soon to unfold. The 2017 tally includes 58 killed at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, while 2016 deaths include the 49 lives lost at Pulse nightclub, another LGBTQ bar that fell victim to a single shooter carrying out a hate crime.

Mother Jones/Statista

The shocking loss of young life at the end of the school year in Uvalde, Texas, is counted among this year’s lone shooter count. With an 18-year-old perpetrator moving among classrooms, more than an hour of chaos ensued before the gunman, who took 21 lives, mostly grade-school children, was confronted and killed inside the school, according to a damning investigative report of the incident. Widening the timeline, left-leaning Mother Jones has counted 74 mass shootings that caused the deaths of three or more people in the U.S. since 2013. The combined death toll of these events tops 500. Mother Jones’s measure takes into account when at least three are dead by gunshot (not counting the perpetrator). And the count only factors in incidents where lone shooters attacked in a public setting or several public settings in short succession. That means Mother Jones applies a narrower definition of mass shootings than some other sources. Its classification is meant to further the perplexing study of what prompts individuals to such degrees of gun violence in a public setting. And it’s part of a strained dialogue in the country to treat the gun violence epidemic as a public health crisis. Opinion: Gun violence plagues America, but tougher policing isn’t the best answer The Mother Jones view excludes shootings with high death counts in private settings, often related to domestic violence or organized crime. It also excludes those where several shooters are attacking. Those two events combined are more common than public-setting lone shooter incidents. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 63 shootings in which three or more victims died regardless of circumstance in 2022 so far. These shootings have left almost 280 dead just this year, according to the website’s tally, compared to 68 counted under Mother Jones’ definition. While public lone shooter events dropped significantly in 2020, this cannot be said for all mass shootings. In …

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