America's Mass Shooting Dilemma

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Source: Mother Jones
Source: Mother Jones

In the last 30 years, at least 62 mass shootings have happened in 30 states stretching from Hawaii to Massachusetts.

That's according to reporting by Mother Jones, which produced a comprehensive series examining gun deaths and gun control in America (in which mass shootings are defined as incidents where four or more people are murdered in a public place).

Next week, the U.S. Senate begins debate on a set of gun control proposals that came about largely in response to the horrific mass shootings last December at Sandy Hook. While lawmakers remain fiercely divided on the issue, there remains, at least, a general acknowledgement that mass shootings happen far too frequently in this country, and that action of some kind is needed to prevent future tragedies of such magnitude.

While mass shooting deaths make up only a small percentage of America's total gun homicides, they've occurred with alarming frequency in recent years, an anomaly among other industrialized nations.

In the U.S., 25 mass shootings have happened since 2006. The most recent tragedy, at Sandy Hook, was the seventh mass shooting in 2012 alone. More than 75 percent of the guns used in all these shootings were purchased legally, a point that in helped recently renew the debate on a federal assault weapon ban, although that proposal now appears to be dead in the water.


The map below, produced by Mother Jones as part of its series, shows the location and specific details of each incident. Visit the site to see a detailed timeline of these incidents and the shooters involved.