WASHINGTON --The Memorial Day weekend saw a community eviscerated by gun violence that left several dead and many more injured.
But it wasn't UC Santa Barbara that witnessed this particular round of bloodshed. It was New Orleans. By weekend's end, the city had seen 19 people shot, four fatally. On Friday, a fight broke out at a high school graduation party that resulted in one person being killed and seven wounded. On Sunday, three men were shot with an assault rifle. That night, a murder took place at a Cajun seafood joint. On Monday morning, a triple shooting happened right outside a hospital, where people sitting in a car were hit with bullets in their backs, arms and legs. All survived. That same day, a 17-year-old died after being shot multiple times. Even earlier, a man riding his bike was shot under an overpass. The day ended with a homicide in the Lower Ninth Ward.
Outside of New Orleans, the U.S. was pocked with bad news. In the week prior to Elliot Rodger's shooting spree in Isla Vista, there were at least 80 gun-related deaths across the country, according to a Huffington Post analysis of local news reports.
That these shootings failed to garner the national attention that the one in Isla Vista did shouldn't shock anyone who has followed the gun control debate. High-profile instances of gun violence are more likely to grab the spotlight than the everyday scourge of gun-related killings. And certainly, the shooting of three (and stabbing of three others) by the 22-year-old son of a Hollywood director who happened to leave a dark, depressing trail of self-made YouTube videos qualifies as high-profile.
But instances such as the one at UC Santa Barbara are rare in respect to gun-related homicides. In fact, FBI data shows that there were 900 people who died in mass shootings from 2006 through 2012. By contrast, firearms were used in 11,078 homicides in 2010 alone, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And for those on the frontline of the gun control debate, it's a bit of a head-scratcher as to how the press tends to cover instances of violence.
"There's a grim calculus in the heads of journalists about what makes a shooting newsworthy," said Mark Glaze, executive director of the Bloomberg-backed Everytown for Gun Safety. "The total number killed and injured tends to be variable one. The role of young people as perpetrators or victims is a close number two." Glaze argued that press coverage was actually becoming more comprehensive, with reporters "actually paying more attention to the 33 daily gun murders in America than they did five or 10 years ago."
That may be true. But, unlike with Rodger's killing spree, there was no national news coverage for the killings in New Orleans. Indeed, unless the shooting involved an athlete or a TV star, the only media that covered gun-related killings the week before Rodger took up arms was in the communities affected.
Below are the local stories that The Huffington Post found from the week prior to Rodger's rampage.
- A shooting at a barbershop left one dead and three injured Sunday night.
- Derrick Whitfield, 23, was shot to death at the Potrero Hill housing complex on May 21.
- Gail Temple, 75, died from a gunshot wound on May 16.
- April Jace, 40, was shot to death on May 20, reportedly by her husband, actor Michael Jace.
- A 26-year old mom was killed by stray bullet in Compton on Tuesday.
- Anthony Johnson, 28, was shot to death on Monday.
- A man shot in Oakland on Monday became the city's 31st homicide of the year.
- Leonicio Banuelos was shot to death on Saturday.
- Janet Jimenez, 17, "was riding in a car late Friday with friends when someone fired into the vehicle, striking her in the upper torso and killing her."
- A Stockton, California, shooting and fire left one dead on Sunday.
- A 69-year-old was shot dead by an armed robber on May 16 while hiking with his 76-year-old companion.
- There was a triple shooting in San Bernardino on May 16 that resulted in the deaths of 21-year-old David Lawler, his 20-year-old half brother Terry Freeman and cousin Kavin Johnson.
- Alex Gines, 23 was shot to death on May 17.
- A woman shot to death in Hyde Park in Los Angeles on Monday.
- Marcus Anthony Armstrong, 44, was shot to death on May 19.
- Marshal Tucker, 48, was found dead of a gunshot late Monday night.
- Juwan Williams, 18, was shot on May 18 and died two days later.
- Kayshaun Hall, 17, was shot to death May 19.
- Leonard Goldman, 29, was shot to death on May 19.
- Lewis Jenkins, 38, was shot to death on May 21.
- Brian McKinney, 20, was shot to death on May 22.
- Robert Waldon, 18, was shot to death on May 22.
- Kevin Diaz, 14, was shot to death on May 22.
- Two men were shot to death at the front door of a home in Indianapolis late Monday night.
- Crystal Parker, 25, died from an apparent gunshot wound on May 19. Police arrested and charged her estranged boyfriend.
- Early Tuesday morning or late Monday night, a 16-year-old male was shot dead in Tangipahoa Parish.
- Shannon Richardson, 25, was shot several times while walking a street on Wednesday. Taken to a hospital, he was later pronounced dead.
- Johnny Clyburn, an active duty Air Force sergeant, was shot to death on Tuesday morning. The suspect was a 19-year-old man who was the son of the women he was scheduled to marry.
- A man was shot inside a Ford F-250 pickup truck late last week and died of a gunshot wound to the neck.
- Darrah Lane, 17, and Leon Davis, 27, were found shot to death in a car on May 21.
- Jose Mesa, 27, was shot to death on Sunday. Police arrested 61-year-old Enrique Carmona.
- Lamont Smith, 45, was fatally shot near a school on May 21.
- 50-year-old Tyrone Hilton was fatally shot in the head and his 28-year-old son Lamont Quarterman, was shot in the arm. A young girl witnessed the shooting, which happened on Sunday.
- A 28-year-old man was found with gunshot wounds to the chest by police on Monday. He died from his injuries in the hospital.
- 21-year-old Raheem Stenson was shot just before midnight on March 17.
- Jesse Lee Taylor, 24, was shot to death on May 18.
- Tezjuan Taylor, 20, was fatally shot outside a Sunoco gas station early Saturday morning.
- Mitzi Larson was shot to death the day after her 42nd birthday on May 17. Her husband has been charged with the murder.
- Tyrone Moore Jr., 21, brother of an NFL star, shot to death May 17 outside a nightclub.
- Shamoray Antonio Robinson, 18, was shot to death on May 18 following an argument at a party.
- Two people were shot to death on May 19. The victims were identified as Dylan Headrick, and Rudy Hernandez III
- William Hill, 29, was shot to death at a shopping center on Wednesday.
- A man was shot to death at a northwest Houston hotel on Thursday morning.
- Jennilynn Montana, 6-year-old girl, was fatally shot Sunday.
- 18-year-old Elijah-Juan Zaire Vanness of Hampton, Virginia, was shot to death on May 16.
- Monique V. Williams, 29, was found dead on Monday in what police suspect is a murder-suicide involving her boyfriend.