US saw highest number of mass killings on record in 2019

US saw highest number of mass killings on record in 2019
Mass killings are often followed by public outpourings of grief, such as in El Paso in August. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times, Washington: The US suffered the highest number of mass killings in 2019 than any other year on record, database reveals.

The USA Today and Northeastern University and Associated Press (AP) compiled the database which recorded 41 incidents and a total of 211 deaths.

If four or more people are being killed in an incident excluding the perpetrator, defined as mass killing.

The most tragic incidents of 2019 are the killing of 12 people in Virginia Beach in May and 22 in El Paso in August.

Researchers said, among the incidents, 33 involved firearms and California had suffered eight mass killings, the highest number per state.

AP reports that the database keeps track of mass killings since 2006, but research going back to the 1970s did not reveal a year with more mass killings.

2006 remains the second-highest mass killings year with 38.

2019 had the highest number of incidents, but if the death toll is considered, 2017 saw the highest death tools, 224. The year saw the deadliest mass shooting in US history when 59 people were killed at a festival in Las Vegas.

The researchers said many mass killings in the US fail to make headlines as they involve family disputes, drug violence or drug deals, and don’t spill into public places.

Mass killings in the US risen, though an overall number of homicides going down, said James Densley, a criminologist and professor at Metropolitan State University in Minnesota.

‘As a percentage of homicides, these mass killings are also accounting for more deaths’, he said while talking with AP.

Why so many mass killings?

The growing numbers of mass killings in the country make the citizen concerned. Prof Densley said he believed the ‘angry and frustrated time’ in US society caused the spike. He describes the time as ‘the age of mass shootings’.

The US lawmakers did a little towards gun control reforms. Gun ownership rights are enshrined in the second amendment of the US constitution.

After a deadly shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in August, President Donald Trump said ‘serious discussions’ would take place between congressional leaders on “meaningful” background checks for gun owners.

But after a long phonecall with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association – a powerful lobby group which opposes gun control measures, Trump rowed back on that pledge.

‘US has very strong background checks right now’, Trump said after the phonecall adding that ‘mass shootings were a mental problem’.