The Norman Transcript


December 18, 2012

Searching for answerswhere there are few

NORMAN — As the nation mourns and searches for answers to the why and how could this happen questions from Friday’s tragic shooting spree in Connecticut, criminologists have been quick to remind us there is no rise in the number of mass killings.

More than 10,000 people will die each year from gun violence in the United States, with most knowing the identity of their killer. It’s the mass shootings such as those in Newtown, Aurora, Portland and Oakland this year that get the most media attention because of their randomness, impact and shared public spaces.

The feeling that it could happen here and happen to our own children is what is most chilling. The Associated Press reports mass murders in America rose between the 1960s and the 1990s and actually dropped in the 2000s. Mass killings peaked in 1929.

Oklahoma has had its share of such killings beginning with the Sirloin Stockade massacre in 1978, the Edmond Post Office killings in 1986 and the bombing of the Murrah federal building in 1995.

The year 2003 is considered the most violent in the United States with 30 incidents and 135 victims. The deadliest school mass murder was in 1927 in Bath, Mich., where the school board treasurer set off dynamite in the school, killing 38 elementary school children, two teachers and four other adults including himself.

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