Policy adviser says mass shootings decreasing as gun casualties rise

The number of mass shootings in the U.S. has declined, but the number of casualties involving guns is on the rise, domestic policy adviser Ryan Streeter said in an interview that aired Thursday on "What America's Thinking."

"Overtime mass shootings in this country numerically have declined, but the casualty levels have risen greatly," Streeter, a domestic policy expert at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on Wednesday.

The five-year moving average for Americans killed or injured in mass shootings before 2012 never rose above 20 victims per 100 million Americans, according to a Politico article authored by researcher Grant Duwe, who wrote "Mass Murder in the United States: A History."

But since 2012, that rate has been above 20 for every year except 2014.

Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the deadly shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., when 17 people were killed.

The shooting prompted the March for Our Lives movement, which has called for strict U.S. gun control laws and regulations.

"What's different now more than ever -- 20 years ago or 15 years ago -- is some of these horrific things that we've gone through, that just seems unconscionable and unfathomable," Streeter said, adding that there is "more of a desire among everyday people, whether they're Republicans or Democrats, to actually not let those things happen again."

"It seems to me just given how divisive this issue is and how strong the interests are, it seems to me that an incrementalist approach is what will happen," he said. 

— Julia Manchester