President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, Friday, December 14, 2012, in the White House briefing room in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Today’s nearly indescribable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where twenty-seven people, including eighteen children, were shot to death inside an elementary school, is at least the sixteenth mass shooting to take place in America this year. The death toll is now at eighty-four.
Here is a list of every fatal mass shooting that’s taken place since January 1—defined as multi-victim shootings where those killed were chosen indiscriminately. The tragedies took place at perfectly random places—at churches, movie theatres, soccer tournaments, spas, courthouses and, now, an elementary school. But given the frequency of these awful events, perhaps in the long view their occurrence isn’t so random after all—it’s predictable.
February 22, 2012—Five people were killed in at a Korean health spa in Norcross, Georgia, when a man opened fire inside the facility in an act suspected to be related to domestic violence.
February 26, 2012—Multiple gunmen began firing into a nightclub crown in Jackson, Tennessee, killing one person and injuring 20 others.
February 27, 2012—Three students at Chardon High School in rural Ohio were killed when a classmate opened fire.
March 8, 2012—Two people were killed and seven wounded at a psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when a gunman entered the hospital with two semiautomatic handguns and began firing.
March 31, 2012—A gunman opened fire on a crowd of mourners at a North Miami, Florida, funeral home, killing two people and injuring 12 others.
April 2, 2012—A 43-year-old former student at Oikos University in Oakland, California, walked into his former school and killed seven people, “execution-style.” Three people were wounded.