The crime scenes were a movie theater in Colorado, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, a manufacturer in Minneapolis, a mall in Portland. Outside the Empire State Building. At a café in Seattle. The list of mass shootings this year goes on and on.
But without turning to Google, can you name one of those shooters? Until the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Conn., it was as though gun massacres had become so commonplace in 2012 that we stopped paying attention. It took the deaths of 20 children and six staffers at an elementary school to jar us, to get us talking about mental health services and gun laws and all the ways we can try to prevent the next episode of mass bloodshed.
Criminal violence in America is at the lowest levels seen in a generation, and gun ownership was down as well, but the rampages continued with no end in sight.