In 2016 Alone, the US Has Been Averaging More Than 3 Mass Killings a Month

In 2016 Alone, the US Has Been Averaging More Than 3 Mass Killings a Month

An active shooter killed at least two people Wednesday at the University of California, Los Angeles, and reportedly left a suicide note near the scene. The campus remains on lockdown.

Sadly, this is not an unfamiliar narrative for America. There have been an average of more than three mass killings per month in 2016.

While there remain a number of definitions for "mass killings" and "mass shootings," Mic is using the FBI's definition of a "mass killing" — which involves at least three fatalities in one attack — for the purposes of this article. 

Semi-automatic handguns are displayed at the National Rifle Association's 143rd annual meeting.
Source: 
Karen Bleier/Getty Images

Crowd-sourcing site Gun Violence Archive has been tracking shootings in the United States since 2013. According to their records, there have been 16 mass killings involving a gun in the first five months of this year. 

They are as follows:

- Jan. 6, three fatalities, Florida
- Jan. 27: six fatalities, Virginia
- Jan. 30: three fatalities, Arizona
- Feb. 20: six fatalities, Michigan
- Feb. 23: five fatalities, Arizona
- Feb. 26, five fatalities, Washington
- March 7: five fatalities, Kansas
- March 9: five fatalities, Pennsylvania
- April 17: three fatalities, Pennsylvania
- April 22: six fatalities, Georgia
- April 22: eight fatalities, Ohio
- April 23: three fatalities, Alabama
- April 27: three fatalities, Mississippi
- May 6: three fatalities, Maryland
- May 15: five fatalities, Georgia
- May 17: three fatalities, South Carolina

Gun control, or lack thereof, remains a hotly contentious issue in the American political landscape. Despite renewed effort after many mass killings to introduce stricter regulation on gun ownership, the National Rifle Association has successfully lobbied against any real overhaul. 

"The National Rifle Association outspent supporters of new gun controls [expanding background checks] by hundreds of thousands of dollars as the Senate considered and ultimately rejected legislation," the Hill wrote in April 2013, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.

The shootings at UCLA will probably galvanize the gun control conversation all over again, but — if history is anything to go by — not much is likely to change. 

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Natasha Noman

Natasha is a News Staff Writer covering global affairs. She previously reported on regional affairs from Pakistan. Natasha is based in New York and can be reached at natasha@mic.com.

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