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Are Mass Shootings in America 'Hyperventilated' By Media?

Amid the stream of mass shootings that have become chillingly commonplace in the U.S., the reality of the nation’s staggering murder rate can often be seen more clearly in the deaths that never make national news, the Associated Press reports. On Monday, a rooftop shooter opened fire into crowds gathered for an Independence Day parade in a Chicago suburb, killing at least seven people and wounding 30.

Less talked about, Chicago police say 68 people were shot in the city between Friday at 6 p.m. and just before midnight on Monday. Eight of them died.

Most gun violence is related to seemingly ordinary disputes that spin out of control and someone goes for a gun. Often, the victim and the shooter know one another. They are co-workers and acquaintances, siblings and neighbors. They are killed in farming villages, small towns and crowded cities.

Compared with much of the developed world, America is a murderous country. The United Nations estimates the U.S. homicide rate is three times that of Canada, five of France, 26 of Japan. There are more guns in the U.S. today than there are people.

If Americans often see the streets as ever more dangerous scenes of public mass killings, the reality is more complicated. While mass murders soak up the vast majority of the attention, more than half of the 45,000 annual firearm deaths are from suicide. Mass shootings — defined as the deaths of four or more people, not including the shooter — have killed