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Intent is the Same



What counts as a mass shooting? ("31 Points," Aug. 8.)

Recently there have been three mass killings: in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. The day before the Gilroy massacre, there was also a mass shooting in Brooklyn, New York.

So why didn't we see headlines about this? The reason is that, although 12 people were injured, only one died so it wasn't a mass killing.

So why discriminate between mass killings and mass shootings? I assume the intent is the same; wound and kill as many individuals as possible. And the impact on the general public is the same; it adds another brick in the wall of fear one may have in being out in a public place with others.

There is no uniform definition for mass killings. Time magazine just published a list of 2019 events using the standard of three or more killed. Much of the problem is due to the National Rifle Association. It has a history of pressuring government into not keeping any statistics that might reflect negatively on gun ownership in fear they will promote gun control.

I think it's time to start keeping such statistics using a uniform definition of mass shootings based on the number injured, not the number who were killed.

Sherman Schapiro, Blue Lake

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