A gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning, killing at least 50 people and wounding 53 more. It marks the worst mass shooting in American history.
As the debate around gun control once again takes center stage, it’s important that people know the scope of the problem. The map below, courtesy of Graphiq, collects the mass shootings that have taken place in 2016 alone.
There’s also been debate over the terms of the debate—how to talk about this tragedy? Is it a question of LGBT rights, or an object lesson in the need for stronger gun control? It seems odd not to treat it as both. Failure to discuss either of these two aspects of the Orlando shooting risks habituation of a hate-spewed, violent ideology into our society. “We’re living in a state of complacency,” Jared Keller wrotefor Pacific Standard last year, “of willful submission to the wave of gun violence that’s engulfed the U.S.” Keller was writing specifically about gun violence, but make no mistake: What happened at the Orlando nightclub was an attack on LGBT rights, and it came at the hands of someone with a gun.
This is a hate-crime issue and a gun-control issue.