About Fathers

Perspectives on fathers and their children.

Aurora: Again a Tragedy, and Again, and Again

We forget how often mass killings occur.

On February 25, 2005, a man with a gun, who was reportedly fighting with his ex-wife over child support, stood on the steps of his local courthouse and fired 50 shots when his ex-wife left the building. She was killed, along with a bystander who tried to shoot the assailant. In the end, three died and four were wounded. 

I doubt that many of us remember that, although it made the national news at the time. I found it on a list of mass shootings in the United States, beginning with the courthouse-steps killing. The most recent item on the list occurred July 17, only a few days ago, when a gunman in Tuscaloosa, Alabama opened fire outside a bar, wounding 17. I didn't hear about that one at all; many mass shootings aren't even making the front page any more. 

The list was assembled by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It is a list of mass shootings that the campaign cound track down since 2005.

The list is 62 pages long.

It will now undoubtedly be amended to include Aurora. That could push it to 63 pages—some 300 mass killings during the past 7 years. Its compilers say it was constructed from what they could find searching news clips. 

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"It is not comprehensive," they wrote.

Nothing, it seems, will ever be enough to force serious discussion of gun violence in Washington.

Journalist Paul Raeburn is the author of Do Fathers Matter? to be published by Scientific America/FSG in June, 2014. He is also the author of the Fathers and Families blog.

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