have we won “them” over or are “our guys” going their way?

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

SO, HAVE WE WON “THEM”—you know, “those guys”—over, or are “our guys” going their way? I just re­ceived this state­ment in my email from Wash­ington Al­liance for Gun Re­spon­si­bility: one-third of the Wash­ington state voters who sup­port uni­versal back­ground checks for new pur­chases of guns ALSO sup­port the gun lob­by’s ballot mea­sure that would pre­vent Wash­ington state from having uni­versal back­ground checks!

Duh . . .

It’s all in how the ini­tia­tives are worded and how the pun­dits are pushing the is­sues, es­pe­cially the rightwing talk-show hosts, who should be get­ting paid for PR.

Have we won: cartoon mocking NRA arguments for arming children.

Car­toon by In­grid Rice.

Each gun killed four people

The fol­lowing was lifted from an ar­ticle ti­tled “The math of mass shoot­ings” by Bonnie Berkowitz, Lazaro Gamio, Denise Lu, Kevin Uhrma­cher, and Todd Lin­deman for The Wash­ington Post. It was last up­dated on No­vember 20, 2017.

Mass killings in the United States are most often car­ried out with guns, usu­ally hand­guns, most of them ob­tained legally. There is no uni­ver­sally ac­cepted de­f­i­n­i­tion of a mass shooting, and dif­ferent or­ga­ni­za­tions use dif­ferent criteria.

In this piece we use a narrow de­f­i­n­i­tion and look only at the dead­liest mass shoot­ings, be­gin­ning Aug. 1, 1966, when ex-Marine sniper Charles Whitman killed his wife and mother, then climbed a 27-story tower at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas and killed 14 more people be­fore po­lice shot him to death.

The num­bers here refer to 146 events in which four or more people were killed by a lone shooter (or two shooters in three cases). An av­erage of eight people died during each event, often in­cluding the shooters.

1,048 victims

Each gun was used to kill an av­erage of four people, not counting shooters. The 1,048 people came from nearly every imag­in­able race, re­li­gion and so­cioe­co­nomic back­ground, and 161 were chil­dren or teenagers.

292 guns

Shooters brought an av­erage of four weapons to each shooting; the Las Vegas music fes­tival shooter had 23. We don’t know how all the guns were ac­quired, but of the ones we know, 168 were ob­tained legally and 48 were ob­tained illegally.

40 states and DC

Twenty-five per­cent of the mass shoot­ings oc­curred in work­places, and 1 in 8 took place at schools. Many took place in stores, restau­rants and bars, or in re­li­gious or mil­i­tary lo­ca­tions. Others oc­curred in a wide va­riety of public places. While some lo­ca­tions have simply be­come short­hand for the tragedies that oc­curred there, others have added tragic phrases to the na­tional vocabulary.

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