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I commented on a news article about the Virginia Beach shooting and said it was time we began discussing reasonable gun laws. One reply said it was too soon? So, I asked when? He went off on me.

So, I replied. I pointed out that there have been 151 days (~21 weeks) since January 1. I suggested that we define a mass shooting as a single instance where 4 or more individuals were shot.

Then I provided some statistics for mass shooting for the first 5 full months of the year, not including Virginia Beach.

Between January 1 and May 31 of this year, there have been 148 mass shootings. Four or more individuals have been shot 148 times in 151 days. And, in those 153 shootings, 149 people have been killed and approximately 585 were injured. (These numbers are corrected to reflect a more accurate accounting from what I arrived at by eyeballing on the fly.)The longest period of time during the first 5 months in which there was no shooting was 1 week. And that happened twice.

We average a mass shooting every day. I can’t imagine how we can wait even another day. But, for some, it’s too soon. What do you think?

How long should we wait before we discuss laws to better control guns in our society?

View Results
Rob1948 7 June 4

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We already waited a week, a month, 6 months, and at least 6 years. I think the thoughts and prayers would have worked by now if they were going to.

Carin Level 8 June 14, 2019

I doubt they bothered. Republican politicians appear to pray for money.


One thing that I believe would help the discussion is if BOTH sides ratchet down the rhetoric. Also, definitions for some of the terms that are tossed around are needed. The definition of an 'assault weapon' or rifle is not consistent. Even those states that try to regulate these weapons have trouble. As of two years ago it took California 18 pages of legislation to try to explain which weapons would be banned.

I have been working with some legislators in Wisconsin on trying to defuse the language and communication styles of gun owners and those who would change the laws to some effect. The NRA is an organization of millions of members, many of whom are not nearly as crazy as Wayne LaPierre. He panders to the extreme far right because, unfortunately, some of the biggest donations come from that side of the discussion. Calling it a terrorist organization is perceived as accusing all members of being terrorists.

I suspect we could find almost universal agreement that nobody wants to have the patterns of shootings continue. It's after that point where we need to define terms and try to stop demonizing the other
side. (When anyone says they want 'reasonable' gun laws they are de facto labeling anyone on the other side as unreasonable. Not the best way to get someone to listen to you.)

We can't seem to negotiate or communicate clearly or straightforwardly on this critical issue. And nothing is going to change until we do.

I don’t agree that saying we need reasonable gun laws anyone on the other side as unreasonable. Does it suggest that those who want no new gun laws or few gun laws might be unreasonable? Yes, much in the same way that it that it suggests that those who want to ban all guns can be perceived as unreasonable.

Everyone has an idea of what reasonable means. The logical question or remark that should come from saying we need reasonable laws should be “What do you mean by reasonable?”

Oddly enough, or maybe not, those who disagree with reasonable tend to be at or near the extremes of the discussion. Their reason vary, but it seems like most don’t agree with reasonable at all.

You are right, definitions are needed. As are starting points for discussion. Saying we need gun laws almost always gets a negative reaction. Just as does say that more laws are not needed. All that is left is the middle. And, that is reasonable.

What we have to get away from is forcing people to have a meaningful dialog. The only way I can see that happen is to focus on what is reasonable. Making people think of what is reasonable, from their view point, makes them think about how far can they go if they move from the extreme. If they do that, they have already begun to move toward some middle ground position that has the label of reasonable.

As for “what is an assault weapon, I would think the definitions used by the Now defunct Brady bill would be a good start.


Your poll is missing an option, there should be an option for "It is far past time to have done something already", so I checked not wait.

True. Long past time.


For those that peddle guns and death, it's always 'too soon' to start being sensible.


I work for a public utility in Virginia. The number of days this utility took between the Va Beach shooting & implementing new & stronger security measures: 1. There is no time like the present to have these discussions.


The UK,and Australia drastically tightened gun ownership and use laws after a mass shooting and New Zealand are to do the same. It is probably because is not politically expedient to do so in the USA that it is unlikely to happen there.

Never say never. There are a number of things that need to change. Top of the list is changing our attitudes about violence in society.

@Rob1948 Hope so


Can you explain that a little better. Theres certainly NOT been 153 Sandy hook/ Virginia Beach type incidents. What exactly are you qualifications for "mass shooting"?

I explained a mass shooting as a shooting in which 4 or more individuals are injured or killed in a single instance. I’m sorry you didn’t see that definition at the end of the second paragraph. Next time, I will use chartreuse to make it stand out. 😇 (if only something like that were possible.)

And, yes can. There have been 153 separate incidents where 4 people or more have been shot since January 1 and June 1. I’m not in the habit of falsifying facts. (Here is my source... [] and it’s possible that I might have miscounted when I added totals up. I did miscount and the numbers have been correcte.)

@Rob1948 I'm color blind anyway 🙂

I think you are playing with numbers there and making a false point thereby. Those shooting occurrences surely have many and varied details. They weren't all crazed gunmen randomly attacking innocent passers-by. Perhaps even a few of them were innocent gun owners protecting themselves from a group of assailants. Without knowing details on each one its wrong headed to use the total number in support of anything.

Fwiw I think we already have reasonable gun laws. I doubt the bulk of people involved in the negative gun use had been squeaky clean good members of society before the shooting. How bout a discussion on removing violent assholes from society instead of just their tools.

@JacobMeyers WTF answer is this? Innocent gun owners protecting themselves- are we in a Zombie Apocalypse? Those wouldn't have been listed as mass shootings.
BTW: your idea of removing violent assholes IS part of the discussion - called increased background checks. So, do you support those? How about an answer to a question I've posed before: are you willing to go back to 60's gun laws - remember though, they demanded responsibility as even a "tragic acident" meant a stiff fine or jail time, including parents; and, back then you had better have had a good reason to shoot someone or you went to jail. Unfortunately this won't stop mass shootings, although it would again limit bullet types, no cop killers, and limit semi automatic.

@JacobMeyers I'm happy to point out that you are absolutely and completely wrong. Virtually every mass shooting in the US has been with weapons that are not outlawed and by people who did not enough of a criminal record to stop them passing background checks. You are reading comics and thinking that they are newspapers.

@JacobMeyers I’m not playing with any numbers. I did not make any claims about the numbers other than they represent the shooting of 4 or more individuals in a single instance. I misrepresented nothing. I gave you the source.

There is no false point being made. The numbers are as stated. If you chose to not believe them, that would be your problem, not mine.

I doubt any of them were innocent gun owners protecting themselves from a group. That would be a guaranteed news item and there have been no such news stories to my knowledge. But, if you can find one, report it here for us. Otherwise, let’s not deal in unfounded speculation.

As to the circumstances, does it really matter why these people got shot. Being shot is not better because a stranger did it. Or because a family matter did it. Trust me on this, no one says “wow, I was sure lucky I got shot by a family member instead of by a stranger!”

I don’t think our gun laws are adequate. Too many people are getting shot. Period. We need to do things to address both the easy availability of assault weapons, guns generally, and, yes address violence and violent people. So, I guess we are going to have to disagree.

Sorry about your being color blind. Makes life difficult.

@Beowulfsfriend, @Gareth it’s not virtually every one. It’s most. The following link, while using a different timeframe and definition of what a mass shooting is, provided a breakdown. It’s 139 handguns to 51 rifles to 30 shotguns



DISCUSS WHAT??? There is nothing to discuss. This is the cost of our embracing the 2nd amendment. It's obvious that the American people have accepted that. People pay dearly yearly for our embrace of an ignorant right. That's just the way it is.

There is a lot to discuss. Not, as you put it, “nothing to discuss.” But, if you’re happy with the possibility of family, friends, coworkers or neighbors being gunned down for no reason, it’s your right. Just don’t force that attitude on those of us that feel differently.

@Rob1948 I am by no means happy about it but we act as though there is some magic action we can take and there isn't as long as we embrace gun ownership.

@JeffMesser There are many things which can be done, all of which are better than nothing.

Better, universal background checks.

Banning assault style weapons.

Banning silencers.

Buy back programs.

Proactive intervention programs directed at people who are at risk or represent a risk (where guns can be removed with a court order for some period of time).

Better domestic violence programs.

Better mental health treatment programs.

Improved firearms training and education programs.

Those are just a few suggestions. I’m sure there are more that can be effectively implemented. And, all of them are better than your do nothing attitude.

@Rob1948 it's not a do nothing attitude. we need a constitutional amendment. you mistake the strength of their resolve when it comes to their insecurities. there's a reason maslow has personal security so high in his hierarchy. you're assuming logic and reasoning in a thoughtful discussion. that's not what happens as long as their have these insecurities. you're dealing with the lizard brain, not the PFC.

@JeffMesser You could have fooled me, Jeff. “DISCUSS WHAT???There is nothing to discuss.” Those are your words. Amendment? Probably never happen. But, as I noted, there are things that can be done.

@Rob1948 getting people to recognize the insecurity is also something.


Background checks... aren’t universal. Private sales are exempt. They should not be.

Domestic violence ... as long as judges and police refuse to view domestic violence as a serious issue (and there those that don’t) and as long as there are individuals face no consequence from treatment programs or for violating orders of protection... there is room to improve.

Mental health treatment programs ... health insurance coverage is half-assed and the public puts too much of a stigma on treating mental health issues.


The problem with waiting is... until when, we have no down time in which to make a decision. There's no wait, there's only before... before more are shot.

That is the point...

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