The Washington Post made a powerful statement about the toll that mass shootings have taken on the U.S. over the last few decades by printing the names of all those killed by such acts of violence since 1966.
“Eleven hundred ninety-six,” the newspaper tweeted alongside an image of the list. “That’s the number of names on this page. People who were doing ordinary things until they were shot to death by killers bent on mass fatalities.”
The Post published the staggering list, which spanned 12 pages of the Sunday print edition, following a series of mass shootings across the country that left more than 30 people dead in recent weeks.
Of the nearly 1,200 victims listed, roughly a third of them died between the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012 and the massacre in Dayton, Ohio, last Sunday.
“This is a moment to reflect on the horrific human toll of mass shootings in our country and to remember the individuals whose lives were cut short,” Martin Baron, executive editor of the Post, said in a statement.
The Post did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how the newspaper calculated the number of mass shootings since 1966.
The FBI does not define “mass shootings,” though it has described “mass murder” as an incident in which four or more people are killed. The nonprofit Gun Violence Archive defines “mass shooting” as one in which four or more people are injured or killed.
Though the U.S. has an exponentially higher number of mass shootings compared to other developed countries around the world, Congress has passed little meaningful gun legislation in the last two decades.
Following mass shootings in recent weeks in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio, Democrats have implored Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to call a special session to vote on gun legislation. He has so far ignored the request.