The United States is reeling from yet another deadly shooting at a school, an Oregon community college, which has left at least 10 dead and 20 injured in what is becoming a grim familiarity for American citizens.
The recurrence of these incidents is staggering: The Oregon incident was the 264th mass shooting in the US this year alone.
A “mass shooting”, as defined by the Gun Violence Archive (a comprehensive database that tracks gun-related violence in the US with statistics, including those quoted in this article), is one where four or more people have been shot and/or killed, excluding the shooter.
A visibly agitated President Barack Obama spoke hours after the killings about how the US has become “numbed” by the almost daily occurrences of deadly shootings.
An angry Obama said the US had made a “political choice” to let mass shootings happen and blasted the National Rifle Association lobby group for blocking reform of US gun laws. He challenged US voters of all political stripes to hold their leaders accountable if they wanted to prevent such tragedies.
“This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America,” he said.
Obama’s exasperation was unsurprising – his comments marked the 15th time he has had to make a statement on deadly gun-related violence since assuming office in early 2009.
Mass shooting at another school
Thursday’s deadly rampage was also the 45th school shooting this year.
The shootings were the deadliest since June, when a white gunman killed nine black parishioners at a historic church at Charleston in South Carolina.
The college, which began its fall term this week and serves more than 13,000 students, 3,000 of them full-time, would be closed until Monday.
In 2012, seven students at Christian college Oikos University in Oakland, California, were shot dead by a former student, marking the deadliest outburst of violence at a US college since 2007, when a student at Virginia Tech University killed 32 people before killing himself.