The ten dead and three injured make this weekend’s racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, the deadliest mass shooting of the year in the United States.
It is also the 198th mass shooting in 2022. At 19 weeks in the year, this averages out to about 10 such attacks per week.
The count comes from the Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization. The group defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, not counting the shooter. The full list of mass shootings in 2022 can be found here.
Prior to the Buffalo attack, the largest mass shooting this year was at an auto show in Dumas, Arkansas, on March 19. The attack killed one person and injured 27.
Such shootings are an American phenomenon
Mass shootings, as is now known, are a regular occurrence in the United States. Last year around this time, the US had experienced a similar number of mass shootings: also about 10 per week.
We ended 2021 with 693 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The year before, there were 611. And 2019 had 417.
The massacres didn’t come out of nowhere, says Mark Follman, who has been investigating mass shootings since 2012, when a gunman killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
“This is planned violence. In all these cases, there is always a trace of…behavioural warning signs,” he told NPR earlier this month.
Follman, the author of a new book, trigger pointssays the role of mental health is also widely misunderstood.
“The general public sees mass shooters as people who are totally insane, insane. It fits the idea of snapping, as if these people are totally disconnected from reality.”
That’s not the case, he said. There is a “very rational thought process” in planning and executing mass shootings.
The suspect in the Buffalo attack left a racist screed, donned body armor and livestreamed the attack.