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Mass murders by the numbers in America

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(KPLR) – In Wednesday's Jacology, Charles Jaco looks at mass murder by the numbers:

We're Americans. We're good with guns. We're good at killing. Just look at the drug killings in America’s cities and meth-fueled small towns. Just look at the family feuds that end with gunplay. Just look at kids gunning down other kids over sneakers or an iPod or an angry glance. But those happen in ones and twos. When we talk mass killings, its murder from Costco or Sam’s Club in the giant family-sized pack.

The FBI now defines mass murder as any killing spree by one person or a few people that kills four  victims or more. They had to set that standard; because these days anyone can open fire on a porch or a car and kill two or three people. But four is the magic number. And Americans have gotten so good at it that since Barack Obama became president, we've had 21 episodes of mass murder in this country. That's a mass killing every 19 days. Now that's American efficiency.

185 people died in these mass killings. That's an average or eight or nine people per incident. And every one of them, all 185 were shot. Not stabbed. Not beaten. Not strangled. Shot. They don't seem to have anything else in common. There were 27 children murdered in Newtown, Connecticut. The dozen killed at the Washington navy yard were aged between 46 and 73. People have been gunned down at a North Carolina nursing home, a Washington state coffee shop, a Colorado movie theatre and a Florida apartment building.

The shooters have been black, white, Hispanic and Asian. So have the victims. But the thing that has not happened? No armed civilian prevented any of them. In fact, no armed civilian has prevented a mass shooting in America in the past three decades. So when the NRA says guns don't kill people, in that case they're absolutely right.  But when it comes to guns in the hands of mass murders, those guns do a heck of a job killing people.

I'm Charles Jaco, and that's Jacology.

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Email: charles.jaco@tvstl.com