As the country reels from news of yet another senseless mass killing in suburban Milwaukee, coming on the heels of the even more deadly massacre in Aurora, Colorado, Americans are left to wonder what could possibly be responsible for this outbreak of bloody insanity and murder. But as terrible as these two incidents were, they have an undeniable ring of familiarity about them – since the year 2000, there have been twenty-six cases of mass murder (four or more victims) in the United States, as opposed to twenty combined during the 1980s and 1990s. And before the 1980s, mass killing sprees were actually quite rare in this country, usually averaging no more than one or two per decade. So it appears we are looking at a trend of madness that began approximately thirty years ago and has been picking up steam every since.
While the anti-gun forces came out in legion following the killings at the movie theater in Colorado, the data connected with this disturbing pattern of atrocity destroys the theory that these horrible cases of mass murder have anything to do with the easy availability of weapons and the absence of laws mandating gun control. There is simply no correlation between the rise of mass murder and changes in gun laws, and anyone who is looking for a connection here is clearly barking up the wrong tree.