There’s an Epidemic of Mass Shootings Outside of Schools
Whether in supermarkets, movie theaters or concerts, public life in the U.S. is marred by the threat of mass gun violence. Nowhere in the U.S. is truly safe from the threat of mass shootings.
Mass shootings are enormous problem in American public life—both inside and outside schools—and by some estimates, there is one mass shooting per day in the U.S., far exceeding other developed nations. There is debate over what constitutes a “mass shooting,” but many experts have settled on the metric of “four or more” victims to qualify as a mass shooting. The rate of mass shootings has tripled in the past 10 years, even while homicide rates overall have declined. The reason for increased mass shootings has varied source to source, but easy access to firearms, and especially to assault weapons is among the most frequently referenced. While a mass shooting as defined by the four or more rule can take place anywhere (and by that definition many are domestic murders), the ones that make the news tend to be those that take place in public: in schools, movie theaters, night clubs and churches. One recent mass shooting took place in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York in a racist incident targeting Black residents. Ten people were killed and several more were injured when an 18-year-old self-described white nationalist opened fire. Other notable mass shootings in the past 10 years in the U.S. include the Pulse shooting, which targeted a gay nightclub in Miami and killed 49 people in 2016 and the Las Vegas shooting in which a man opened fire on an outdoor concert, killing 60 people in 2017.