October 4, 2015

Nine Dead in Oregon

Sing it, and it sounds just like Ohio, the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young anti-war anthem about the murder of four students by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University 35 years ago.
Nine dead in Oregon (nine dead) Nine dead in Oregon (nine) Nine dead in Oregon (how many?) Nine dead in Oregon (how many more?) Nine dead in Oregon (why?)
This time, it was a lone gunman - lone and lonely, it seems - killing eight of his fellow students and a teacher at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. And so we add another town to the lore and legend of mass shootings in the US.

Supposedly there's some kind of manifesto, and allegedly the killer was asking people if they were Christian before deciding where to shoot them, which may have cost some their lives and saved others. Nothing's been said yet about motive, or about the shooter's religion; those details will come later, I'm sure, once law enforcement officials review everything. We can be sure, though, that the shooter's mental health will be an issue.

This was the 294th mass shooting in the US this year. The definition is met, according to the folks at Mass Shooting Tracker,
when four or more people are shot in an event, or related series of events, likely without a cooling off period.
The 294th. This year.

Being the overachievers we are, we're ahead of schedule: in 2013, number 294 didn't occur until 10/18; last year, it  took until 11/19. If you're curious, here are some additional numbers tied to the 294th mass shooting for each year:
  • 2015: 375 killed, 1089 injured, total 1464
  • 2014: 326 killed, 1096 injured, total 1422
  • 2013: 382 killed, 1042 injured, total 1424 

Yay, us.