The next mass shooting will take place on February 12, 2014, in Spokane, Washington. It will be committed by an emotionally disturbed, 38 year-old white man who will kill seven people and wound six more at a place he used to work using a semi-automatic handgun he purchased legally in the state.
That, at least, is what a look at the data on past such shootings might indicate. We’ll say at the outset: Every assertion in the first paragraph is a function of probability, not fact. The next mass shooting — which will happen somewhere, sometime — will almost certainly not be in that place at that time. But a look at the historic data on such killings, compiled and shared by Mother Jones magazine, makes each of those predictions defensible.
If President Obama’s second term has been beset by “unpredictable calamities” like the Navy Yard shooting, in the words of the Washington Post‘s David Nakamura, we thought we’d try and offer a little prediction. Especially since, if such incidents occur at the same pace for the rest of Obama’s term as they have since 2009, there could be 14 more before he leaves office.
And just as predictably, the NRA and its minions in Congress will say that now is not the time to discuss comprehensive legislation like universal background checks and assault weapons bans and nothing will be done. Count on it.