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Report on Mass Shootings And Their Increased Frequency


February 5, 2022

The following article is from the WSJ. The link below is to the primary source for the article.

I don’t know the solution. Inaction is probably not one of them. State or federal?

The number of mass shootings noticeably increased in recent decades, with the average yearly death toll also rising, according to new findings from a government-funded research initiative.

In the 1970s, mass shootings took eight lives a year, on average, the study from the Violence Project found. From 2010 to 2019, that average was 51 deaths a year. And of the mass shootings that took place from 1966 to 2019, 20% occurred in the last five years studied.

The Violence Project, a nonprofit funded by the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, looked at around 170 mass shootings between 1966 and 2019 and analyzed them for commonalities and other identifiers. Its database was drawn from open sources, including social media and newspapers.

Its report, published by the NIJ this week, comes a day after President Biden visited New York City to discuss federal efforts to combat gun violence. Shootings in the city are up 32% this year compared with the same period in 2021, according to New York Police Department data.

“The answer is not to defund the police,” Mr. Biden said during his visit to NYPD headquarters. “It’s to give you the tools, the training, the funding, to be partners, to be protectors.”

The Violence Project’s analysis found that more than 80% of mass shooters were noticeably in a crisis beforehand. The most common locations for mass shootings were at workplaces, followed by retail stores and restaurants.

“This study—one of the most extensive assessments of mass violence to date—reveals a deeply unsettling trend: more Americans are dying at the hands of mass shooters than at any point in recent history,” said Amy Solomon, principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Office of Justice Programs, a Justice Department agency that works to support local and state law-enforcement agencies.

Ms. Solomon said the findings help give agencies a better idea of what types of individuals are behind mass shootings. She added that the study could possibly help identify some warning signs and precursors to the events.

Mass shooters have been more frequently motivated by hate or the potential for fame since 2015, according to the Violence Project.

With the exception of those who stole guns from family members, most young school shooters used legally obtained handguns, according to the Justice Department.

The study used the Congressional Research Service’s definition of a mass shooting, which is a “multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms,” and where at least some of the murders occurred in a public location. The definition doesn’t include killings associated with criminal activity or “commonplace circumstance,” such as an argument or love triangle.

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