White House: Mass Shootings Not ‘New Normal’ — What is Then?

Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

People come out from a building with their hands up after a shooting happened at the Washington Navy Yard on September 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Mass shootings are not “the new normal.”

At least not in President Barack Obama’s eyes, the White House press secretary says.

“He doesn’t accept this as the new normal,” Jay Carney told reporters today.

The shooting deaths of 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington by a gunman then felled by police marks the worst mass shooting in the U.S. since the killing of 20 first-grade children and six educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14 — a day now known among the locals as “12/14.”

In the 30 years through March, the U.S. recorded 78 public mass shootings, incidents in which four or more people were killed at random by an indiscriminate gunman, as Bloomberg’s Annie Linskey reports today.

Nevertheless, the slaughter counted in a Congressional Research Service study claimed the lives of 547 people. Over the same decades through 2012, that’s less than a tenth of 1 percent of the 559,347 people the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates were murdered in America.

While the headline-grabbing killings such as this week’s shooting spree in the nation’s capital occupy a nation’s 24-hour news cycle and then some, the largely untold stories of the greater carnage may represent more of “the new normal.”

What else is normal now?

The apparent lack of moral outrage over a shooting a mile and a half from the U.S. Capitol, where even the Newtown killings were insufficient to spur a congressional response?



High gas prices — higher than $3 per gallon:

High unemployment — which Republicans like to blame on the White House:


And a 72-hour work-week for the news-cycle churning media:


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