Once the minds behind the crowdsourced website Mass Shooting Tracker get around to updating their data, San Bernardino will become the 352nd mass shooting in the U.S. this year.
Unless there’s been more than one mass shooting to add since their last update on November 28th.
The data tracker was created by the same people behind the tongue-in-cheek subreddit page /r/GunsAreCool. It has tracked every single mass shooting in the United States since 2013.
- 2013: 263 mass shootings
- 2014: 336 mass shootings
- 2015: 351 mass shootings and counting
But not everyone agrees with their numbers, because the online tracker has a different criteria than the official Federal Bureau of Investigation’s definition of “mass murder”
Definition of a Mass Shooting
Mass Shooting Tracker defines a a mass shooting as one where four or more people are hit with bullets, regardless of whether or not they die, whereas the FBI’s definition is an event in which four or more people are killed in one area at one time, not including the perpetrator.
Even by the FBI’s standards, 2015 has been another bad year for our southern neighbours when it comes to incidents in which innocent people are killed by gunmen.
Just last week it was a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs, in which 3 people were killed and 9 injured.
Since September alone, there have been 94 mass shootings by the Shooting Tracker’s definition, including San Bernardino.
Of those 94, 16 mass shootings have had four or more fatalities, which would fit the FBI criteria for a mass shooting. But only if none of those fatalities were self-inflicted, which is unclear.
What is clear though, is that last week’s shooting at the Planned Parenthood Clinic does not fit the FBI’s own criteria of a mass shooting because in that incident only three people were killed.
Also clear is that the end of 2015 may possibly see the U.S. have as many mass shootings as there are days in a year.