In three days, June 10 to June 12, the country endured 6 mass shootings: Yonkers, New York; Detroit, Michigan; White Center, Washington; Savannah, Georgia; Austin, Texas; and Chicago, Illinois, accounting for 6 dead and 38 injured. Year to date, Chicago has had 16 mass shootings.
The non-profit research group, Gun Violence Archive, defines a mass shooting where four or more individuals, excluding the shooter, are shot in one location at roughly the same time.
Since the beginning of June, just 18 days, there have been 37 mass shootings. June 6 recorded 7 mass shootings.
As 60 Minutes journalist Scott Pelley reported in a segment that aired last Sunday, “There are over 19 million [AR-15 rifles] and they are rarely used in crime. … But as we first reported in 2018, the AR-15 is the choice of our worst mass murderers. AR-15 ammunition travels three times the speed of sound.”
While handguns are responsible for most killings, the destructive power of the AR-15 is so extraordinary that it has to be seen to be believed.
At a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Assistant Fire Chief Rusty Duncan was the first on the scene.
“Ninety percent of the people in there were unrecognizable,” Duncan said. “You know the blood everywhere; I mean it just covered them from head to toe. They were shot in so many different places that you just couldn’t make out who they were.”
In a demonstration, Pelley was shown the difference between a 9mm shell from a handgun and an AR-15 as each enter ordinance gel designed to replicate the soft tissue of a human body. The difference is shocking.
“It’s three times faster and struck with more than twice the force. The shock-wave of the AR-15 bullet blasted a large cavity in the gel unlike the bullet from the handgun.
“With the AR-15,” Pelley stresses, “it’s not just the speed of the bullet, but also how quickly hundreds of bullets can be fired. The AR-15 is not a fully automatic machine gun. It fires only one round with each pull of the trigger. But in Las Vegas, it sounded like a machine gun.”
As the Scott Pelley reports, mass shootings used to be a rarity. Now, they are tragically becoming the norm.
On December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members. Since Sandy Hook, there have been there have been at least 2,656 mass shootings in the United States. Two-hundred-forty-seven of those have occurred in the first six months of this year.
…and it’s not over.
Update: CNN reports (June 18), “that Four people were shot — one fatally — as a gunman went on a shooting spree in the northwest suburbs of Phoenix on Thursday, police said.