THERE was another mass shooting in the U.S. today, in Savannah, GA. There have actually been more mass shootings in America this year ( 355 ) than days so far this year ( 336 ). That's something the nra and the politicians and community leaders they have bought off are proud of. And too many ignorant Americans too, ignorant because they keep the same politicians and community leaders who oppose and prevent sane gun control in positions of power. From the +Washington Post followed by a very valid piece from +The Atlantic on prayer shaming after the San Bernardino mass shooting today .....
Police haven’t arrested a suspect, said Eunicia Baker, spokesperson for the Savannah Chatham Police Department. They also haven’t released the names of the victims. The local news media barely acknowledged the murder: One local television station covered it in three paragraphs.
And the world spun on.
Then news broke that multiple attackers opened fire at a center for disabled adults in San Bernardino — a center that just hosted its holiday party yesterday.
Suddenly, the little-noticed crime in Georgia became the second mass shooting in a single day — and at least the third since Robert L. Dear Jr. opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic last week in Colorado springs.If you feel "desensitized," here's a photo from the Inland Regional Center's holiday party yesterday. pic.twitter.com/3JwHQTg5cX— Carey O'Donnell (@ecareyo) December 2, 2015
Just heard there was another mass shooting today in Savannah, Georgia. Thoughts and prayers with them, as well. It's a mad, mad world.— Author Lacey Thorn (@LaceyThorn1) December 2, 2015
there was another shooting this morning in savannah, georgia?!— drunken dipshit (@0embarc0) December 2, 2015
After the Colorado Springs shootings, President Obama declared that this type of violence must not "become normal." But as my colleague Chris Ingraham points out, the data show that mass shootings are already normal. There have been more mass shootings than calendar days this year.Earlier today there was another shooting in Georgia. Say what about lax gun laws protecting people? https://t.co/hwCrQf5xaI— Pete Forester (@pete_forester) December 2, 2015
News reports collected by a Reddit community show there have been 355 mass shootings in 2015. The Mass Shooting Tracker, as its called, differs from other shooting databases in that it uses a broader definition than the FBI's old four-fatality rule: If bullets strike four people in the same attack, that's a mass shooting.
The big ones, of course, attract the national media, comments from the president, cries of terrorism. The small ones ... well, they have become just another police report in the United States.
More from Wonkblog:
The San Bernardino shooting is the second mass shooting today and the 355th this year
San Bernardino shooting: 11 essential facts about guns and mass shootings in America
How ‘active shooter’ became a depressing part of our vocabulary
For example: Here’s the Washington editor at the liberal publication The Nation, George Zornick, on reactions from the 2016 presidential candidates:
There’s a clear claim being made here, and one with an edge: Democrats care about doing something and taking action while Republicans waste time offering meaningless prayers. These two reactions, policy-making and praying, are portrayed as mutually exclusive, coming from totally contrasting worldviews. Elsewhere on Twitter, full-on prayer shaming set in: Anger about the shooting was turned not toward the perpetrator or perpetrators, whose identities are still unknown, but at those who offered their prayers.Compare + contrast: pic.twitter.com/vWXoIHd1Uy— George Zornick (@gzornick) December 2, 2015
Think and pray about passing sensible gun reforms, Dr. Paul https://t.co/16czqfbH8n— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) December 2, 2015
This is not the first time this idea—that prayer is not enough—has come up in the Twittersphere, or in politics. “As I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” said President Obama following the October shootings at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. He was not denigrating prayer—in the same speech, he went on to ask God for strength and courage for the victims.Try this: Stop thinking. Stop praying. Look up Einstein's definition of "insanity." Start acting on gun violence prevention measures.— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) December 2, 2015
This cynicism offers a view into just how much religion and politics have changed in the United States. Prayer and political action have a deeply entwined history in America. From civil rights to women’s suffrage, nearly every social-justice movement has had strong supporters from religious communities—U.S. history is littered with images like the one of pastors and rabbis marching on Selma, side by side with political activists.
But now, even in the absence of information about the shooter's identity and motivations, people have jumped to conclusions like this, from Democratic Senator Chris Murphy:
There are many assumptions packed into these attacks on prayer: that all religious people, and specifically Christians, are gun supporters, and vice versa. That people who care about gun control can’t be religious, and if they are, they should keep quiet in the aftermath of yet another heart-wrenching act of violence. At one time in American history, liberals and conservatives shared a language of God, but that’s clearly no longer the case; any invocation of faith is taken as implicit advocacy of right-wing political beliefs.Your "thoughts" should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your "prayers" should be for forgiveness if you do nothing - again.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 2, 2015
The most powerful evidence against this backlash toward prayer comes not from the Twitterverse, but from San Bernardino. “Pray for us,” a woman texted her father from inside the Inland Regional Center, while she and her colleagues hid from the gunfire. Outside the building, evacuated workers bowed their heads and held hands. They prayed.