Over the past seven days, America witnessed eight mass shootings that left four dead and 29 wounded, bringing the US mass shooting body count so far this year to 273 dead and 945 injured. That means at least as many people have died in US mass shootings in 2016 as perished in the 1979 crash of American Airlines Flight 191, which killed 271 passengers and two people on the ground at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in an historic national catastrophe.
Meanwhile, Europe suffered zero mass shootings over the past week, leaving the continent's body toll in such attacks so far this year steady at 37 dead and 125 injured.
In the United States, the week was actually relatively calm by recent standards, with the fewest mass shootings since the first full week of June and the fewest mass shooting deaths since the last week of May. It felt especially quiet coming directly after the deadliest seven-day stretch since the week of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.
Last Friday at about 8:30 PM, a shooting at a party at an apartment complex in Jacksonville, Florida, left one dead and three injured. At about 2:30 AM the next morning, four people were injured in a shooting outside a hookah lounge in Queens, New York. About an hour after that, a fight outside a tavern in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, left two people shot dead and two more injured. Just about 22 hours after that, a street shooting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, left five individuals injured. And at about 10:30 PM Sunday, another street shooting in Norfolk, Virginia, injured four more individuals.
After a brief calm at the beginning of the week, another shooting broke out on the street in Oakland, California, around 10:30 PM Wednesday, injuring four people. Around the same time (early Thursday on the east coast), a shooting outside a bar in Waterbury, Connecticut, injured four more individuals. And finally, at about 8 PM Thursday night, an argument turned violent in a Church's Chicken parking lot in Kansas City, Missouri, leaving one man dead and three others injured, including a child under the age of five.
Although Injuries involving children tend to draw at least a bit of local press, none of these incidents were apparently unique enough to garner much national scrutiny. But it's worth remembering that even in this good week, America was still hemorrhaging from large-scale gun violence. The comparatively low body count of the past few days is still obscene by most global standards, and ought to be intolerable domestically, as well. Instead of hoping in vain that the mass shooting onslaught might relent, Americans should reflect on what it means that this is what we consider merciful—when "just" 29 people are wounded and four more killed in one week's worth of mass gun violence.
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