In an Associated Press story with Helen O’Neill posted on The Blaze much of the media frenzy over mass killings is disputed even in a situation that has become sickeningly familiar, gunmen opened fire on innocents in what should be the safest of places – first, at a shopping mall in Oregon, and then, unthinkably, at an elementary school in Connecticut.
Once again there were scenes of chaos as rescuers and media descended on the scene. Once again there were pictures of weeping survivors clutching one another, of candlelight vigils and teddy bears left as loving memorials. And once again a chorus of pundits debated gun control and violence as society attempted to make sense of the senseless.
Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century.
- While the perception in the wake of this year’s mass shootings has been that such acts are on the rise, the Associated Press found that it’s actually the exact opposite when you look at the data on a macro level.
- “There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University.
- He adds that the random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest.
- While mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, says.
- Chances of being killed in a mass shooting, he says, are probably no greater than being struck by lightning.