A Guide to Listings of Mass Shootings in the United States

Rather than writing about the 28 mass shootings which have occurred in the U.S. since we last published, on May 20th, we thought it might be useful to create a guide to online resources keeping track of these events.

We’ll begin with Wikipedia’s “Mass Shootings in the United States” page, which will be six years old on June 16th. It has been revised approximately 2,000 times since then, for reasons which should be obvious.

This page provides a helpful overview of the topic, including discussions of definition and data sources—both matters of surprising complexity. Its section on demographics is deftly written; a sentence on gender carries a whiff of British-style understatement: “The proportion of male mass shooters is considerably larger than the proportion of males in the general population.”

“Contributing Factors” is a key section, presuming that there is a public interest in reducing the number of mass shootings. Naturally the astonishing number of guns in this country—more than double the number per capita as second-place Yemen—tops the list. Mental illness comes next, with a focus on individuals. If national sanity is a legitimate topic of discussion, it does not arise here.

For reasons unknown to us, and though the topic does come up under the heading “Effects,” politics are not discussed under “Contributing Factors.”

The Mass Shootings page includes a list of “Deadliest mass shootings since 1949,” two-thirds of which have occurred since the turn of the century. The information contained therein is public, and we would be hard pressed to argue that it should be censored, but we can easily imagine someone trying to use it the wrong way.

Wikipedia’s other notable contribution to this genre is its series of lists. On the page, “Lists of mass shootings in the United States,” which serves as a directory, the 20th century is broken down by decades, starting with the 1920s. Mass shootings in the 2000s are treated in one group, but due to the number of events, the section is unwieldy.

From 2011 through 2017, each year’s worth of mass shootings gets its own section. Beginning with 2018, those sections begin to include a link to another page: “For a more comprehensive list, see List of mass shootings in the United States in 20__.”

The Gun Violence Archive [GVA] does not restrict itself to mass shootings, but also tallies up single murders, suicides, accidental shootings, and defensive uses of firearms. A map of the U.S. on its front page makes it clear that, where there are humans in this country, there is gun violence. Along with basic data for each incident, GVA offers a link to a primary source. A handy “Seven Year Review” table breaks down each year’s tragic losses into nine helpful categories.

A similar page, massshootingtracker.site, seems to have less analysis, but offers the option of downloading data.

Mother Jones magazine also offers a downloadable database, originally published in 2012, and since updated.

“Behind the Bloodshed,” a USAToday effort, was last updated in 2017. It’s worth a mention, though, for its discussion of why so many mass shootings do not appear in FBI reports.

Vox, as is its wont, created a website—last updated in 2020—with a good deal of visual whizbangery to make the case that nowhere else on earth do Homo sapiens shoot each other with such lethal effect. In that unenviable regard we are, without doubt, #1.


Out of the Mouths of Boobs

George W.[MD] Bush condemned the “brutal, unjustified invation of Iraq” on May 19th.

His remark, however, was not a sign of personal growth or increased self-awareness, much less repentance. He quickly made clear he was referring to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The continuing obliviousness of the Court-appointed President was underscored by the topic of the conference at which he spoke: election integrity.


Covid Early Warning System Coming?

Back in February the CDC had a bad Covid problem. The map showing community transmission of the virus was looking way too scary—red and yellow nearly everywhere. That made it hard for responsible public officials to justify encouraging consumers to get out there and consume. After all—think of the poor, downtrodden shareholders!

In keeping with the nation’s general approach to this once-in-a-century public health emergency which has killed more than a million Americans so far, the problem was solved by defining it away. Forget about community transmission, look at hospital capacity instead.

Suddenly that scary red map turned a peaceful green! Just the thing to inspire a person to go out and rub elbows with the rest of the crowd.

Meanwhile, echoing the “Throw Away That Truss” ads in the back pages of old comic books, the CDC said masks were no longer needed in public. “Laissez les bon temps rouler,” or, en Englais, spin the roulette wheel and take a gamble on your health, and the health of those around you.

After all, there’s only a seven-percent chance that a person you might infect will, like certain people we know all too well—have a compromised immune system which probably prevents their vaccination from having its full effect. Reports that the CDC is now adopting YOLO as its slogan remain unconfirmed.

According to a related rumor, seismographs in Litchfield County, Conn. are said to have reported unusual rumblings coming from Lime Rock Cemetery, the last resting place of Alfred Korzybski. The founder of the field of General Semantics, Korzybski is best known for the adage, “The map is not the territory.”

Meanwhile, the Granite State’s Official Covid-19 Dashboard shows that the surge which took off in early April may or may not be subsiding. As a guide to the prevailing level of risk, it’s marginally more useful than a Magic 8 Ball.

We wallow in all this transparent disgruntlement by way of introducing some actual good news.

The University of New Hampshire has been working since early in the pandemic on a program to gauge local levels of infection by monitoring wastewater.

UNH put out a call recently, inviting communities to take part. The testing program expects to sign up 25 municipalities.

The City of Portsmouth has applied to be one of those participants. The final list will probably be announced within a couple of weeks.

Actual results of the testing should be available in the fall.


Formerly hidden away and quite hush-hush, The Ghost has now gone public. This innovative and stealthy prototype is now right out in plain view, just off the Market Street Extension. The Ghost’s new home is Albacore Park, named after another ground-breaking warship.


“The Ghost” Now On Public Display

The Ghost used to have a bright future. Now, it’s hard to say.

Whatever else happens it has a new home now—and it will always have a terrific back story.

According to the legend, after terrorists in Aden nearly sank the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, Gregory Sancoff thought to himself, “Some yahoo terrorists in a cheap little boat and $500 worth of explosives can kill 17 sailors on a billion-dollar ship?”

Funding the project with some of the proceeds of earlier entrepreneurial work—and ignoring the niceties of the Pentagon procurement process—he came up with a radical countermeasure.

Two pontoons, each containing a turboshaft engine ordinarily used in helicopters, pulled through the water by four propellers which, through super-cavitation, surround the pontoons with a layer of air bubbles, reducing drag and allowing for higher speed.

Struts atop the pontoons support an above-the-water cabin capable of holding a crew of 3-5 sailors and up to 16 passengers—which, one would assume, would be Navy SEALS or other combatants. Videos available online show The Ghost practically flying over the water smoothly enough to allow enjoyment of a cup of coffee, practically undisturbed by the waves.

It was a fantastic success until the Pentagon got involved. Patents were withheld, according to news reports, and gag orders applied. Not only did the Pentagon decline to buy the new boat, it prohibited Sancoff from marketing it to other nations.

As things stand now, The Ghost still belongs to Sancoff’s company, Juliet Marine. Albacore Park is its new home, though, according to the Park’s Executive Director, Patricia Violette.

It may still hit the water from time to time, for testing purposes. So, if it’s not next to the Albacore, look for it on the Piscataqua.


How Corporations Are Using Inflation to Take Your Money

by Robert Reich

Inflation is a cover corporations are using to squeeze more money out of you. But as I’ll explain, there are five things we can do to fight back.

Corporations are using inflation as an excuse to raise their prices, hurting workers and consumers while they enjoy record profits. Prices are surging—but let’s be clear: corporations are not raising prices simply because of the increasing costs of supplies and labor. They could easily absorb these higher costs, but instead they are passing them on to consumers and even raising prices higher than those cost increases.

Corporations are getting away with this because they face little or no competition. If markets were competitive, companies would keep their prices down to prevent competitors from grabbing away customers. But in a market with only a few competitors able to coordinate prices, consumers have no real choice.

As a result, corporations are raking in their highest profits in 70 years.

Are they using these record profits to raise their workers’ real wages? No. They’re handing out meager wage increases to attract or keep workers with one hand, but effectively eliminating those wage increases by raising prices with the other. Wages grew 5.6 percent over the past year—but prices rose 8.5 percent. That means, adjusted for inflation, workers actually got a 2.9 percent pay cut.

So what are corporations doing with their record profits? Using them to boost share prices by buying back a record amount of their own shares of stock. Goldman Sachs expects buybacks to reach $1 trillion this year—an all-time high.

This amounts to a direct upward transfer of wealth from average working people’s wallets into CEOs’ and shareholders’ pockets. Just look: billionaires have become at least $1.7 trillion richer during the pandemic, while CEO pay (based largely on stock values) is now at a record 350 times the typical worker’s pay.

The Federal Reserve wants to curb inflation by continuing to raise interest rates. That would be a grave mistake, because it doesn’t address corporate concentration and it will slow job and wage growth. The labor market isn’t “unhealthily tight,” as Fed Chair Jerome Powell claims. Corporations are unhealthily fat.

So what’s the real solution?

First, tougher antitrust enforcement to address the growing concentration of the economy into the hands of a few giant corporations. Since the 1980s, over two-thirds of American industries have become more concentrated, enabling corporations to coordinate price increases.

Next, a temporary windfall profits tax that takes corporation’s record profits and redistributes them as direct payments to everyday Americans struggling to cover soaring prices.

Third, a ban on corporate stock buybacks. Buybacks were illegal before Ronald Reagan’s SEC legalized them in 1982—and they should be made illegal again.

Fourth, higher taxes on the wealthy and on corporations. Corporate tax rates are at near-record lows, even as corporate profits are at a near-record highs.  And much of billionaires’ pandemic gains have escaped taxes altogether.

Lastly, stronger unions. As corporate power has grown, union membership has declined, and economic inequality has risen—the reason most workers haven’t seen a real raise in 40 years. All workers deserve the right to collectively bargain for higher wages and better benefits.

In short, the real problem is not inflation.

The real problem is the increase in corporate power and the decline in worker power over the past 40 years. Unless we address this growing imbalance, corporations will continue siphoning off the economy’s gains into their CEOs’ and shareholders’ pockets—while everyday Americans get shafted.

This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely. Robert Reich, is the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century.


 “Old men delight in giving good advice as a consolation for the fact that they can no longer provide bad examples.”

– François de La Rochefoucauld


 “Solon used to say that speech was the image of actions;… that laws were like cobwebs,—for that if any trifling or powerless thing fell into them, they held it fast; while if it were something weightier, it broke through them and was off.”

– Diogenes Laërtius


“The peak of the [Presidential] campaign happened in Albuquerque, where a local reporter said to me, “Dr. Commoner, are you a serious candidate or are you just running on the issues?”

– Barry Commoner

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