Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Florida has had 30 mass shootings since Pulse

Posted By on Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 1:46 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JEREMY REPER
  • Photo by Jeremy Reper
Yesterday's tragic act of violence involving a disgruntled ex-employee killing five people at his former job marks the 30th mass shooting in Florida since Pulse.

These numbers come from the Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit organization that catalogs gun violence incidents from over 2,000 media, law enforcement, government and commercial sources on a daily basis.

Since there are many definitions of what a "mass shooting" is exactly, it's important that we clarify this usage of the term. For GVA (as for the U.S. Congressional Research Service), the term is defined as "four or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location, not including the shooter."

That being said, the numbers only get worse the more you dig.

On Monday, June 12 Orlando will reach the one-year anniversary of the largest mass shooting in modern American history. Since the attack that left 49 dead at the gay nightclub Pulse, Orlando itself has experienced five mass shootings, reports GVA. Of those attacks, eight more victims have died and 14 were injured.

If you dig through the details of these mass shootings you'll find a few very stark common denominators – like, guess how many of these attacks involved "radical Islamic terrorists"?

Zero.

Also, almost all incidents involved handguns. Right now, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has 24 remaining bills to sign or veto on his desk, and among those is the NRA-backed "Stand Your Ground" bill.

The bill – which critics argue would lengthen the court process, cost taxpayers more money and make it incredibly easier for gun-toting killers to get off the hook – shifts the burden of proof such that prosecutors must prove defendants were not standing their ground, rather than defendants proving they were.

Florida, and specifically Orlando, has a serious gun violence problem, and so far, Stand Your Ground hasn't helped. Florida has witnessed a 32 percent increase in homicides since Stand Your Ground was introduced into law back in 2005.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, from January through March of this year, gun violence in the Orlando area was higher than anywhere else in Florida except Miami.

Unfortunately, no meaningful reform has happened yet. The fact that the recent legislative session ended without passing any major expansion of gun rights is a step in the right direction. This year, NRA-backed bills that would have allowed guns on college campuses, in airports and in government meetings all died in session.

However, among the bills that died were also ones that would have banned assault weapons sales and expanded background checks.

Maybe (and this is a big, biiiig maybe) Stand Your Ground will fizzle too.


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