America Just Had Its 45th School Shooting of the Year
Yesterday a gunman went on a shooting rampage at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon. He killed at least 10 people and left at least seven wounded. It was the 45th school shooting to happen in the U.S. so far in 2015, and the 142nd school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012.
According to CNN, the shooter was wearing body armor and had brought with him three pistols and a rifle, along with enough ammunition to keep the gunfight going for a long time. The gunman, who is dead now after a firefight with police, was a white male terrorist who is rumored to have announced his impending rampage on 4chan the day before the shooting.
Among those injured in the shooting was 30-year-old student, Army veteran, and former high school football player Chris Mintz, who according to NBC was shot seven times after confronting the gunman in an attempt to save others. Mintz is expected to survive, though he will have a long recovery ahead of him.
The Oregon shooting is the 45th school shooting in the U.S. in 2015, and the 17th shooting on a college campus in 2015. Including the Oregon shooting, there have been 142 shootings at schools in the United States since Sandy Hook in 2012.
This is happening far too often, and even though the cases make the news, nothing changes. The Columbine High School shooting happened in 1999, and the biggest change that came from that is that parents all got a little nervous about teenagers in trench coats. In 2007 a mass shooting at Virginia Tech left 33 people dead.
In 2012, 20 children and six teachers were murdered by a gunman at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Sandy Hook stands out to me as a defining moment in the relationship of the United States to school shootings, because that was an elementary school. 20 children died. If the deaths of 20 children are not enough to spur Americans to action to stop this violence and these shootings, I worry that nothing is going to.
We need to be angrier that this keeps happening in our country. There have been 142 school shootings in the U.S. since Sandy Hook. Our children deserve a response besides a day of making sad faces and saying, “Well, mental health …” and then not doing anything about access to guns or mental health care.
“Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We’ve become numb to this,” President Obama said yesterday. “Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel, and it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America — next week, or a couple months from now.”
How many school shootings do you think we will have had, in total, by December 31? I bet it’s more than 45.
(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)