Why Some Shootings Are Called Mass Shootings And Others Are Ignored

When labeling an attack a mass shooting, the number of victims and the shooter’s motivation are usually the most significant factors.

By Hady MawajdehNovember 4, 2019 9:30 am, , ,

From KERA:

Depending upon whom you ask, there have been somewhere between eight and 350 mass shootings in America so far in 2019. That’s a pretty big range. So why don’t we know the exact number?

While it feels like we’re hearing about them all the time, “mass shootings” are pretty rare. In fact, mass shootings only account for about 1% to 2% of all gun deaths in a given year, depending upon whose definition you go by. But who’s to say what is or isn’t a mass shooting?

For example, on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, a gunman in Greenville, Texas, killed two people with a handgun at an unofficial homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce. He also shot six others. And an additional six people were trampled and injured while trying to run away from the violence.

That sounds like a mass shooting, right?

Well, local authorities didn’t think so.

“I would describe this as a capital murder case. I wouldn’t describe it as a mass shooting,” said Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks. “We believe one person was targeted and for some unknown reason to us he decided to go ahead and shoot other folks. I wouldn’t classify that as a mass shooting.”

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