Yesterday, as the world's eyes were fixed on the shooting of two journalists on live TV in Virginia, two separate tragedies were unfolding elsewhere.
About 1,300 miles away, a man was killed and three others were wounded in a shooting at a Chicago park. Throughout the day, at least eight people were wounded by gunfire in the city, the Chicago Tribune noted.
It has been a hot and bloody summer. Since June 21st, the first day of the season, there have been 93 mass shootings in the United States, according to ShootingTracker.com, a crowdsourced site. A shooting in Salinas, Ca. that killed two and left two wounded happened just as I was writing this.
The website considers a mass shooting any event were "four or more people are shot in a spree or setting, likely without a cooling-off period." This is a broader definition than the FBI's, which is when four or more people are killed, even though that excludes, for example, an incident in which a shooter kills one person and wounds a dozen more.
Other tallies sometimes exclude domestic violence or armed robberies, focusing only on indiscrimate murder. ShootingTracker argues that its criteria is the most honest assessment of gun violence, and removes medical intervention from the equation. "The gun lobby benefits from our ability to save those who would otherwise die," it reads.
So far this summer, 107 people have died in mass shootings in the U.S., according to the database. A total of 358 have been wounded by them.
Some of these shootings, like the attacks on the military recruitment centers in Chattanooga, Tn. and the movie theater attack in Lafayette, La. a few days later, receive mass media attention. Others, like the shooting in Blytheville, Ar. earlier this month that left one dead and 11 wounded, do not.
What we witnessed yesterday was a meticulously strategized plan to get the maximum media exposure from a single horrible act of violence. It worked. We tuned in. We're talking about it.
But that's not the norm. Acts of mass violence happen nearly every day in this country, and most of them fall into a void. So far this summer, according to ShootingTracker.com, there has been an average of 1.36 mass shootings a day.
Let's talk about it.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.