Why are there more mass killings on Trump’s watch than before?
I suspected that this was true, but until I actually used US mass shootings, 1982-2019: Data from Mother Jones’ investigation I didn’t have data.
The Mother Jones data collects all mass killings (shootings that killed over 3 people, not including the perpetrator). I added up those killed in mass shootings under Obama, and the total for all 8 years was 310. The total for Trump through August 4, 2019 was 256. Thus, Obama averaged 38.75 a year while Trump has averaged 99 per year. Why is it so much higher for Trump?
Bush W only had 125 in 8 years, which is half of what Obama had. Clinton had 112. So I would say that there has been a huge jump in the Obama years and an even greater jump in the Trump years.
In other words, mass shootings are getting out of hand. Conclusion: It would be nice if we could round up the guns as they did in Australia. But since 2d Amendment prevents us from doing, at least we should put in some pretty strict controls. Like background checks.
“Australia solved [its] problem by introducing a mandatory buyback. Australia’s states would take away all guns that had just been declared illegal. In exchange, they’d pay the guns’ owners a fair price, set by a national committee using market value as a benchmark, to compensate for the loss of their property. The NFA also offered legal amnesty for anyone who handed in illegally owned guns, though they weren’t compensated.”
Australia got back 650,000 guns, which was about 20% of all the guns owned in the country. But America has 393 million guns, and there’s a big question of how these could be bought up. “So far, gun buybacks in the United States have been a community-based, grassroots endeavour with limited impact. Their feasibility on a state or nationwide scale is unclear.
“Cost alone may be a prohibiting factor. Assuming a $50-per-firearm incentive, reducing the US gun stock by 1 per cent would cost $196.5 million.”
Why was there such a significant jump in mass shootings in the Obama when compared with the Bush years? “An intelligence report by Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst and domestic terrorism expert for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS . . . specifically mentioned “right-wing extremism” [as a danger] and was concerned that extremists might try to recruit returning military veterans.”
“More than a decade ago, the Department of Homeland Security issued a [Johnson’s] report warning about a surge of right-wing extremism. The report was prescient, to say the least. But when congressional Republicans learned about it, they went on a rampage, demanding the resignation of Janet Napolitano, who headed the agency, and insisted that even using the term ‘right-wing extremism’ was unacceptable.”
“Of course, Johnson’s fears were perfectly justified. The August 3 shooter in El Paso, according to law enforcement, was motivated by exactly the type of far-right white nationalist extremism that Johnson was worried about — and that Republicans have failed to take seriously.”
If there was much more right-wing extremism in the Obama years when compared with the Bush years, then there must be even more right-wing extremism in the Trump years when compared with the Obama years. The media says so. “When you think of a terrorist, what do you see? For more than a generation, the image lurking in Americans’ nightmares has resembled the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks: an Islamic jihadist. Not a 21-year-old white supremacist from a prosperous Dallas suburb.
“But long before that young man drove to El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 3 and allegedly murdered at least 22 people at a Walmart crammed with back-to-school shoppers, it was clear that white nationalists have become the face of terrorism in America. Since 9/11, white supremacists and other far-right extremists have been responsible for almost three times as many attacks on U.S. soil as Islamic terrorists, the government reported. From 2009 through 2018, the far right has been responsible for 73% of domestic extremist-related fatalities, according to a 2019 study by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). And the toll is growing. More people–49–were murdered by far-right extremists in the U.S. last year than in any other year since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress in July that a majority of the bureau’s domestic-terrorism investigations since October were linked to white supremacy.”
Daryl Johnson, author of the 2009 report that was so ignored, says this: “Even if there was a crackdown right now, it’s going to take years for the momentum of these groups to fade. I’m afraid we’ve reached a tipping point where we’re in for this kind of violence for a long time.”
If there are more right-wing extremists, then the Trump rhetoric is promoting their violent acts, not dissuading them. His administration is not cracking down on their violence but encouraging it. This explains the huge jump in mass killings in the past three years.
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