Random Events that Kill People


Readable PDF of graphic above here

Some lone asshat (inevitably male, usually young, usually white) decides to open fire on an unarmed crowd of civilians in a non-combat zone.  I got nuthin but a life-sapping feeling in my gut and a heavy heart.  My brain reminds me that given the incredibly large number of homo sapiens on the planet (estimated 7 billion +), and the jarringly large distribution of small arms (an estimated 875 million) what is remarkable to me is that the (admittedly partial, high profile) list below does not go on for pages and pages.  Last night’s shooting in Aurora, CO is the exception that proves this rule: the percentage of people who wish to do violent harm to random people is so infinitesimally small that it does not warrant scrutiny.  Climbing in a few tons of metal, plastic and rubber and hurtling your body down a road at 45 mph, just mere feet from people doing likewise in the opposite direction who could alter and perhaps terminate your life with trivial ease is but one examples of a daily risky endeavor most of us take for granted.  We do it only because we intuit that those people do not wish to do us harm.  Society does not otherwise function.  Please remember that.

That said, I cannot help but wonder what the creative team of South Park is talking about today.  Lampoon the “its the video games” argument? Too hot to handle?  Toss your guess in the comments.

Jesse playing Rage

2011: Utoya Island Attacks, Norway

2011: Tucson Shooting

2008: Northern Illinois University Shooting

2007: Virginia Tech Massacre

2006: Dawson College Shooting

2002: Beltway Sniper, Washington, DC

1999: Columbine High School Shooting

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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