Another Mass Shooting Reported – TGIF?

Today’s USA TODAY morning headline is “What we know about the Indianapolis shooting: 8 dead at FedEx facility; suspected gunman dead.”

Yes, it’s another mass shooting, regardless of the various definitions for the “mass shooting” term, this one qualifies.  So far, the police are reporting that just after 11pm, Thursday, April 15, an “active shooter” situation took place at the FedEx Ground facility near Indianapolis International Airport.  Eight people were killed in and around the facility (4 inside and 4 outside) and an unknown number of others (at least 5) went to hospitals with injuries” police spokesperson Genae Cook shared with the media.  It is believed the suspected shooter is also dead (by suicide) bringing the total dead, so far, to nine.

Many questions remain unanswered.  It is unknown whether the shooter was an employee or what the motive was.  The man suspected used a submachine gun, an automatic rifle, and was firing in the open.  The FedEx facility employs more than 4,500 people, and a company spokesperson added that the safety of their workforce is their “top priority and they are cooperating fully with investigating authorities.”

Until all the facts are in, the media has resurrected the recent news of mass shooting in Boulder, CO and Atlanta, GA and the concerns around weaknesses in gun laws, etc. And so the continuous cycle of violence, concern, non-action continues. 

Another bit of news was that this latest mass shooting brought the year-to-date total to 130.  Does that sound like a lot for 3.5 months?  Well a quick review of the statistics for last year, and remember, much of the country was under pandemic “lockdown”, shows that in fact 130 is higher.  Last year, for the same 3.5 month time period, the death count was 108.  A quick lookback at the monthly totals for last year shows this:

See the List of mass shootings in the United States in 2020 – Wikipedia)  Note: this website also shows the day, location and other specifics for each occurrence.

Month# of Mass ShootingsTotal # KilledTotal # Wounded
January2839111
February284094
March2627112
April262392
May5837248
June9162395
July8771383
August7851340
September6544274
October5241210
November4747192
December283990
TOTAL6155212,541

Related to this most recent incident reporting is the now standard reminder as follows:

“If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.”

My initial reaction to this is first exasperation and then deep sadness that I, and the people I love, live in a country that not only permits this but refuses to do anything about it.  I’m often reminded of the law of large numbers which says we lost far more people to COVID-19 last year (approximately 1,000x more) and supposedly half the country didn’t care about those deaths so what’s the big deal about mass shootings.

So, while we are thanking God for Friday, perhaps, we can take a moment to thank God for the law of large numbers; assuming of course that none of those smaller numbers include people we know and love.

What do you think? I would sincerely appreciate your thoughts on this issue.  

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