US Had 9 Mass Shootings This Weekend

A shocking yet unsurprising statistic.

When I saw the headline “There were at least 9 mass shootings across the US this weekend” atop a story from CNN‘s Hollie Silverman, I was skeptical. Surely, that’s misleading, based on a laughable definition of “mass shooting”? But, no, they actually set the bar higher than I would:

CNN defines a mass shooting as incident with four or more people killed or wounded by gunfire — excluding the shooter.

And it turns out that at least nine incidents, killing at least 15 people and wounding another 30, occurred across six states between Friday evening and the wee hours of this morning.

  • A gunman opened fire at a family birthday party in Colorado Springs, leaving six people dead and a community in mourning.
  • An overnight shooting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel left one man dead and at least seven others wounded [in Phoenix]
  • Three people are dead and another was injured during a shooting at a townhome Saturday morning just outside of Baltimore
  • At least three people were killed and nine others injured in three separate shootings in California.
  • Four people were injured in a shooting in Newark, New Jersey, on Sunday
  • Authorities in Milwaukee are investigating a shooting that injured four people on Saturday afternoon
  • Two people are dead and three others injured after a shooting in a park in Kinloch, Missouri, on Friday night

Many of the incidents wouldn’t otherwise have made national news, since people suffered only minor wounds. But that’s just a function of how numbed we are to shootings, which are simply routine.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Guns and Gun Control, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. PJ says:

    This sentence from the Guardian article about the Colorado shooting with seven dead:

    It was Colorado’s worst mass shooting since a gunman killed 10 people at a Boulder supermarket on 22 March.

  2. KM says:

    America is callous when it comes to the lives of its citizens. So many are OK with fellow citizens dying to preventable things so long as they aren’t personally affected by it. A nation of brats who think their personal freedom to not be inconvenienced means more than a stranger’s life, not understanding everyone is a stranger to somebody and one day it will be their turn.

    We have an asshole problem in this country. We’ve ignored mental illness in this country and we’ve let people stew over grievances and fall into the madness of conspiracy theories rather than deal with it. We let bitter people with anger problems carry weaponry that can kill dozens just so someone can get their jollies on the target range at will. We’ve let paranoid people set the conversation about registries and red flag laws and basic common sense. Now we are so numb to this an entire generation of children have grown to be voting adults and think shooter drills at school and work are normal. Any attempts to address it get dismissed as “liberal overreach” and we slowly sink down into hell rather than offend the gun nuts.

  3. Jax says:

    There was also a school shooting at a middle school in Rigby, Idaho. Two students and a teacher shot, non-critically. Shooter is a 6th grade girl.

  4. James Joyner says:

    @Jax: That would fall shy of the threshold of four victims in the CNN definition. But, yes, it would be higher if the threshold were three.

  5. Jax says:

    @James Joyner: I have some friends who have kids that go to school there. I think it’s the first time most of them ever thought “Wow, maybe kids shouldn’t be allowed free and unfettered access to weapons….” in their entire lives, and it took coming that close to catastrophe before they got to that point of view.

  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    Yawn, another day another 10 or so dead. About what you would expect from a country where half the citizens won’t take an epidemic seriously.

    The Supremes have taken up a couple of gun cases for next term, it will be interesting to see if they will strip from the states, the remaining power to control guns. I fear they will.

  7. Kathy says:


    So many are OK with fellow citizens dying to preventable things so long as they aren’t personally affected by it.

    And to think Ayn Rand claimed Altruism was at the root of America’s problems.

  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    Guns in private hands. That’s the problem. We all know it. Even the gun nuts know it. I’m afraid the only real solution is to repeal the 2d amendment, which won’t happen, so once again the Constitution fails.

  9. Scott says:

    @Jax: When I was growing up on suburban Long Island, we all had cap guns, played cops and robbers, etc. and thought nothing of it. Our elementary school actually had a gun range in the basement and NRA ran gun safety lessons there. Guns were fairly common but locked up.

    None of that can happen today because of the radicals in the NRA and gun industry. In a real sense, the NRA stole childhood and left us in this gun crazed hellhole where guns are no longer tools but totems.

  10. Teve says:

    @KM: there wasn’t a single thing in your post that suggested how to fix things, and I think the reason is because there isn’t a way to fix this shit.

  11. Nightcrawler says:


    No, there isn’t. This country is in a downward spiral that will eventually culminate in the U.S. splitting up. There is no stopping this. Things have metastasized to the point where removing the cancer is no longer possible. It’s only a matter of how many people will die in the process.

  12. Mister Bluster says:

    People kill people with guns in this country because they can.

  13. KM says:

    None that most people would think is acceptable instead of “overreach”. Frankly, we’re at nut up or shut up – pass laws that actually have teeth, require insurance and set up the damn functional registry already. They’ve been screaming we’re coming for their guns for almost 3 generations now so they’ll not going to get any less shrill or paranoid. It’s all “too soon” so screw it and pass the law with an expiration date 20 years out so Gen Z will have a chance to weigh in. Because here’s the thing – Repubs won’t repeal it. Oh, they’ll campaign against it but when push comes to shove, they’re not going to actually have the guts to do what they say they will. Despite constantly threatening it, Roe still survives and a gun registry will too. Design it strong enough so that the whittling away that inevitably happens won’t kill it and let the generational shift manifest. Those kids that were raised under shooter drills and constant school massacres are going to start having kids of their own soon; if that can’t tip the balance, nothing ever will.

  14. Jeff Bishop says:

    CNN’s definition of “mass shooting” is purely opportunistic, created for no other purpose than to make “mass shootings” sound an order of magnitude more common than they are. The FBI’s traditional definition of mass murder has been four or more murdered victims in a single incident, excluding the perp. The Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012 defines “mass killing” more broadly, to include three or more killed, but again excluding the perp. Colorado Springs was the only mass shooting to meet either definition.

  15. Gustopher says:

    @Jeff Bishop: Oh, I guess it’s all right then.

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jeff Bishop:..created for no other purpose than to make “mass shootings” sound an order of magnitude more common than they are.

    It is clear to me that when four or more victims are killed they are far more dead than when one or two or three victims are killed.
    I take your point.

  17. dazedandconfused says:

    I’m surprised they lumped together several shootings in CA but didn’t for Chicago. The weekend’s count: 5 dead, 21 wounded. Statistically, a fairly typical 2021 weekend tally for Chiraq.

  18. just nutha says:

    @Jax: Yeah, and I’ll bet a dollar against a donut (or vice versa, your choice) that in 30 days, they’ll have forgotten this event and will have reverted back to staunch defenders of our sacred 2nd Amendment.

  19. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds: There’s a reason that only 3 countries still have the right to private gun ownership in their constitution and it isn’t because Mexico, Guatemala, and the US have special national brilliance. In America, we’ve combined the sanctification of our centuries old Constitution with our fetishization of modern firepower. One without the other would provide a way out, but with these two together, we’re stuck with ‘simply routine’ death.

  20. just nutha says:

    @Gustopher: Or maybe that’s why CNN didn’t use the term “Mass Murder” in the first place.

  21. Gustopher says:

    US Had 9 Mass Shootings This Weekend

    I would call this Mass Mass Shootings, but the FBI’s traditional definition doesn’t exist.

  22. Jeff Bishop says:

    A mass shooting is mass murder by shooting. An individual murder isn’t “OK, then,” but it’s also not a mass shooting. Neither is squeezing off 1,000 rounds at the range, injuring and endangering no one cuz “gee, they didn’t say mass murder!”

    There was one mass shooting this weekend. If it hadn’t been for that one, CNN would not be reporting about eight “mass shootings” now. They wouldn’t be reporting on the subject at all.

  23. dazedandconfused says:

    @Jeff Bishop:

    If someone sprayed a crowd and wounded hundreds but luckily failed to kill anyone, it couldn’t be labeled a mass shooting?

  24. Nightcrawler says:

    Why are we arguing over dictionary definitions while people continue to be murdered?

  25. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jeff Bishop:..CNN would not be reporting about eight “mass shootings” now. They wouldn’t be reporting on the subject at all.

    If you don’t like what CNN is reporting all you have to do is change the channel or stop clicking on their site or just turn off the TV. It’s easy to do.
    If your problem with CNN is that you don’t want other people to see what they report you can’t control what they watch.
    As much as you would like to.

  26. just nutha says:

    @Nightcrawler: I was going to congratulate Mr. Bishop on his appointment as Definition Laureate of the United States, but what you said is probably more important and pertinent so now, I don’t have to. Thanks.

  27. Jeff Bishop says:

    @Dazedandconfused: if your aunt had balls, would she be your uncle?

  28. steve says:

    Ignore the troll. Mass shooting has been defined.


  29. inhumans99 says:

    @Jeff Bishop:

    Dude, from your picture I take it you are older than a 12 year old, I expected better of you than your aunt has balls comment (which is interesting, but I am not sure what her having balls has to do with mass shootings). Leave that type of comment for sites where 80-90% of the commenters believe the election was stolen, while a handful of folks push back against the crazy.

    Being pedantic about this particular topic, where so many people (many of them who are just innocent bystanders who are employees at a workplace, or students on a school/college campus) are killed due to a lack of common sense gun control reforms in this country is not a good look.

  30. Barry says:

    @Jeff Bishop: I can understand your anger at people trying to make mass shootings sound worse that they are.

  31. Gustopher says:


    Why are we arguing over dictionary definitions while people continue to be murdered?

    Because the “he’s an ephebophile, not a pedophile” argument is always engaging.

    And because we are all tired of the usual something-must-be-done/nothing-will-be-done discussion that is tired and boring and sad, so poking the pedantic is more fun?

    @Jeff Bishop: I think it depends on the aunt’s gender identity once she has balls, which might depend on the meaning of has. If she just tears off your balls and has them bronzed as a souvenir, I think she will remain an aunt.

  32. Gustopher says:

    @Jeff Bishop: “Attempted mass murder? Now, honestly, what is that? Do they give out a nobel prize for attempted chemistry?”

  33. dazedandconfused says:
  34. Gustopher says:

    We’re pretty much stuck with a mass shooting problem in this country because of people like Sideshow Jeff here. As the NRA went from promoting gun safety to promoting guns, and made it a cultural issue, no one smacked them down hard enough.

    We also saw the same thing happen with the anti-maskers this past year. And so, outbreaks were worse than they had to be.

    And THAT’S why I think we need a national vaccine passport that is a lot harder to forge that the vaccination cards. Because otherwise, these people are going to be the reason that we can’t get to herd immunity through vaccination.

    We’ve lost on guns, at least for the medium term. But hopefully we can learn from it.

  35. Heck, almost that number were shot and/or killed last weekend in Chicago (26 shot; 6 killed).

  36. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Yawn, another day another 10 or so dead.

    And that’s “mass” shootings. We lose a hundred a day to guns.

  37. CSK says:

    When I was in high school, a fair number of the guys and some of the girls brought rifles to school (which they kept locked in the trunks of their cars) so they could go hunting with Mom or Dad (or both) during the afternoon. No one ever brought a firearm into the school, and no one, obviously, ever got shot on school grounds. (Actually, nobody got shot, period.) It would have been unthinkable at the time.

    Now, however….

  38. Kurtz says:


    If I’m not mistaken, it’s the second shooting at that school, right? It was a long time ago… But not exactly a highly populated area.

  39. Kurtz says:

    @David Schuler:


  40. DrDaveT says:

    @Jeff Bishop:

    A mass shooting is mass murder by shooting

    Do you have any idea how pathetic you sound when you do that?

    A mass shooting is lots of shooting at people by one person. A mass murder is when lots of those targets die. Everyone else on the planet is well aware of the difference.

    You remind me of Richard Benjamin in Love at First Bite, being dragged away by the police after shooting Dracula with a silver bullet. “No, no, it’s OK! Silver bullets is werewolves! I’m a doctor!”