Along with apple pie and baseball, America has become defined by mass shooting sprees.
This according to Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak in a piece on Monday reacting to the murder rampage at the U.S. naval yard.
"How can this country tolerate another mass shooting, after we've endured so many others?" she asked, noting seven last year.
But despite a notoriously horrendous 2012, and while not diminishing the toll of each incident, those who track killing sprees suggest we may suffer from historical amnesia.
The fact is, violent crime itself in the United States hovers around a two-decade low.