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Why have public mass shootings become more deadly?: Assessing how perpetrators’ motives and methods have changed over time

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Abstract

Research Summary: Public mass shootings in the United States have become substantially more deadly over time. We document this increase, offer a model to explain it, review supporting evidence for the model, and present new findings on offenders from 1966 to 2019. It appears that societal changes have led to more public mass shooters who are motivated to kill large numbers of victims for fame or attention, as well as to more shooters who have been directly influenced by previous attackers. They often spend extended time planning their attacks and are increasingly likely to acquire powerful weapons and develop specific strategies to enhance their lethality. Policy Implications: New policies should be aimed at addressing the aforementioned factors. For instance, the deadliest public mass shooters' desires for fame and attention might be countered by a change in media coverage policies. Additionally, the deadliest perpetrators' lengthy planning periods have been associated with more warning signs being reported to police, so that type of information could justify denying many potential attackers access to firearms through extreme risk protection orders and red flag laws.

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... Most of these recommendations will require legislative action at the federal and state levels. Although we focus our recommendations on the actions of government (federal, state, or local), nongovernment entities and individuals will also have an important role in preventing mass violence-for example, media organizations might limit their reporting on mass violence offenders to discourage copycats seeking fame (Lankford & Silver, 2020) and place managers of potentially vulnerable locations can adopt target hardening and threat mitigation strategies (Freilich, Chermak, & Klein, 2020, this issue). ...
... Although there are rational public safety grounds for restricting firearms with a variety of militarystyle features, we believe the most important components of assault weapon laws are restrictions on large-capacity ammunition magazines that enable shooters to discharge large numbers of rounds rapidly. Mass shootings and other crimes committed with high-capacity semiautomatics (including assault weapons and other models) have been rising since the expiration of the federal ban on assault weapons, and this results in greater numbers of persons killed and wounded per incident as compared to attacks with other types of firearms (Koper, 2020, this issue; also see Lankford & Silver, 2020). States with magazine capacity restrictions, however, have fewer mass shootings (Webster, McCourt, Crifasi, & Booty, 2020, this issue). ...
... Threats come in two distinct forms. One, which is commonly referred to as "leakage," involves a situation in which an individual at an advanced stage of planning an attack leaks that intention to others in conversation or on social media (Lankford & Silver, 2020;Silver, 2020, this issue). The other threat type involves more diffuse threats in which intention is ambiguous and planning, if any, is nascent: ...
... Since deaths from public mass shootings comprise less than 1% of all homicides based on our definition, testing whether or not the FAWB/LCM ban has an impact on homicide would wash out the effect. Since the FAWB/LCM ban may be effective at specific types of gun deaths, sampling must be limited to specific types of shooters over overall gun deaths or tests for lethality [62,63]. Finally, the variation in research findings is related to differences in research design, sampling frame, and case definition of a public mass shooting [3,[53][54][55][56]64,65]. ...
... In total, 1225 people were killed in a mass shooting over the past 53 years with more than half occurring in the last decade, a function of increases in mass shootings and weapon lethality [62,63,75]. Public mass shooting fatalities and injuries far outpace population growth [75]. ...
... Because our study specifically targeted the federal legislation, we omitted state-level gun policies such as state-level prohibitions on certain types of guns, LCMs, or more lethal types of bullets. It is likely that the internet serves as a contagion and as a guide to potential mass shooters, allowing them to access weapons and multiple stories about other mass shooters [62,67,89,90]. ...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Public mass shootings are a significant public health problem that require systematic surveillance to inform policies that combat gun injuries. While there is widespread agreement that something needs to be done to stop public mass shootings, exactly which policies that entails varies such as the prohibition of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. OBJECTIVE Needs to be added METHODS The FAWB resulted in a significant decrease in public mass shootings, number of gun deaths and injuries. We estimate the FAWB prevented 11 public mass shootings during the decade the ban was in place. A continuation of the FAWB would have prevented 30 public mass shootings that killed 339 people and injured an additional 1139 people. RESULTS The FAWB resulted in a significant decrease in public mass shootings, number of gun deaths and injuries. We estimate the FAWB prevented 11 public mass shootings during the decade the ban was in place. A continuation of the FAWB would have prevented 30 public mass shootings that killed 339 people and injured an additional 1139 people. CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrates the utility of public health surveillance on gun violence. Surveillance informs policy on whether a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines reduces public mass shootings. As society searches for effective policies to prevent the next public mass shooter, we must consider the overwhelming evidence that assault weapon bans and/or large capacity magazine bans work. CLINICALTRIAL NA
... So all we have is the hope of being seen, or heard, even for a moment. -Mae Holland (''The Circle,' ' Eggers 2014) F ollowing the Columbine shooting in 1999 and a suggested rise in mass shootings since then (Capellan 2015;Capellan and Gomez 2018;Silva and Capellan 2019), law enforcement agencies have intensified their efforts to respond to and prevent mass shootings, and scholars have continually contributed to this effort by studying perpetrator and attack characteristics (Lankford and Silver 2020;Silva and Greene-Colozzi 2019). Several approaches to preventing mass shootings have emerged, including (1) gun control, (2) mental health approaches, and (3) a call for change in media coverage (Lankford and Madfis 2018a). ...
... Desire for Fame and Popularity: Literature on Fame-Seeking Rampage Shooters Lankford and Silver (2020) provide a range of examples for studies that show the role that desires for fame, attention, and celebrity status have been playing in the lives of young people in Western industrialized countries in recent years. Especially within American society, such desires are more widespread than ever before (Lankford and Silver 2020). ...
... Desire for Fame and Popularity: Literature on Fame-Seeking Rampage Shooters Lankford and Silver (2020) provide a range of examples for studies that show the role that desires for fame, attention, and celebrity status have been playing in the lives of young people in Western industrialized countries in recent years. Especially within American society, such desires are more widespread than ever before (Lankford and Silver 2020). However, very few people achieve lasting fame. ...
Article
In the early hours of June 8, 2017, a Weis Market employee in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, shot three co-workers and herself. Shortly before the shooting, the perpetrator uploaded vast amounts of digital material, so-called legacy tokens, to the Internet. She daily frequented various forums and social media platforms and produced large amounts of written, audio, and video content, some of which macabre and explicit. This content revealed her desire for fame and attention and a fascination for other rampage killers, both characteristics of fame-seeking rampage shooters. In this study, we analyze the perpetrator's legacy tokens and shed light on her biography, family relationships, personal crises and grievances, and recurring themes in her communication. The perpetrator was particularly preoccupied with a fictional group she founded called “Ember's Ghost Squad”; death and dying; depression and suicidal tendencies; gender identity and sexuality; violent fantasies; previous rampage killers (esp. the Columbine shooters); and grandiose fantasies, narcissistic tendencies, and a desire for fame. We present hypotheses regarding drives and motives that led to the shooting and conclude that the core of severe targeted violence lies in an enduring maladaptive coping with individual grievances, regardless of the narratives they are embedded in. Particularly, fame seeking as a means to identity building and stabilization of self-worth offers a valuable explanatory approach, which can also be helpful from a risk assessment perspective. Highlighting some challenges that arose in data mining and analysis, we discuss practical implications and recommendations for the early detection of intent to commit a violent act.
... Since deaths from public mass shootings comprise less than 1% of all homicides based on our definition, testing whether or not the FAWB/LCM ban has an impact on homicide would wash out the effect. Since the FAWB/LCM ban may be effective at specific types of gun deaths, sampling must be limited to specific types of shooters over overall gun deaths or tests for lethality [62,63]. Finally, the variation in research findings is related to differences in research design, sampling frame, and case definition of a public mass shooting [3,[53][54][55][56]64,65]. ...
... In total, 1225 people were killed in a mass shooting over the past 53 years with more than half occurring in the last decade, a function of increases in mass shootings and weapon lethality [62,63,75]. Public mass shooting fatalities and injuries far outpace population growth [75]. ...
... Because our study specifically targeted the federal legislation, we omitted state-level gun policies such as state-level prohibitions on certain types of guns, LCMs, or more lethal types of bullets. It is likely that the internet serves as a contagion and as a guide to potential mass shooters, allowing them to access weapons and multiple stories about other mass shooters [62,67,89,90]. ...
Article
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Background: Public mass shootings are a significant public health problem that require ongoing systematic surveillance to test and inform policies that combat gun injuries. While there is widespread agreement that something needs to be done to stop public mass shootings, exactly which policies that entails varies, such as the prohibition of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Objective: To determine if the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (FAWB) (1994-2004) reduced the number of public mass shootings while it was in place. Methods: We extracted public mass shooting surveillance data from the Violence Project that matched our inclusion criteria of four or more fatalities in a public space during a single event. We performed regression discontinuity analysis, taking advantage of the imposition of the FAWB which included a prohibition on large capacity magazines in addition to assault weapons. We estimated a regression model of the five-year moving average number of public mass shootings per year for the period 1966 to 2019 controlling for population growth and homicides in general; introduced regression discontinuities in the intercept and a time trend, for years coincident with the federal legislation, i.e. 1994-2004, and also allowed for a differential effect of the homicide rate during this period. We introduced a second set of trend and intercept discontinuities for post-FAWB years to capture the effects of the termination of the policy. We use regression results to predict what would have happened from 1995 to 2019 had there been no FAWB and also to project what would have happened from 2005 onward had it remained in place. Results: The FAWB resulted in a significant decrease in public mass shootings, number of gun deaths, and number of gun injuries. We estimate the FAWB prevented 11 public mass shootings during the decade the ban was in place. A continuation of the FAWB would have prevented 30 public mass shootings that killed 339 people and injured an additional 1139 people. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the utility of public health surveillance on gun violence. Surveillance informs policy on whether a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines reduces public mass shootings. As society searches for effective policies to prevent the next mass shooting, we must consider the overwhelming evidence that assault weapon bans and/or large capacity magazine bans work. Clinicaltrial: Not Applicable.
... For instance, ideological mass shooters have a higher level of planning than other mass shooters (Capellan, 2015). Similarly, Lankford and Silver (2020) find the deadliest mass shooters have a higher level of planning, and Lankford (2015) finds these shooters are also more likely to die during the attack. Given these collective findings, this work hypothesizes: H1: Older offenders will increase the likelihood of PVF. ...
... Around one fourth of offenders did not have any prior plans for the attack (26%). In other words, they already owned a gun, and there was (Bierie et al., 2016) and mass shooting research (Lankford & Silver, 2020;Silva, 2021), this study measures variables at the incident level, not the offender level. Measurements of the seven dyad incidents included in this study consider if one of the two offenders had any of the characteristics. ...
Article
This study examines police victimized by firearms (PVF)—referring to officers killed or injured by a firearm—during mass shootings. The purpose of this study is to determine offender characteristics and situational factors impacting PVF. An open-source data collection strategy identified mass shootings in the United States between 1966 and 2019. Quantitative analyses compared mass shootings involving PVF against all other non-PVF mass shootings. Findings indicate the offender background, motivation, and preparation, as well as the attack location, weapon, and conclusion, which influenced the likelihood of PVF. A discussion of findings provides implications for police officers and agencies seeking to understand and address law enforcement risk during mass shootings.
... Some sources attempt to capture all mass shootings (however defined), whereas others focus specifically on public mass shootings that are unrelated to other forms of crime (like robbery, gang, or drug violence). This particular type of mass shooting has become an increasing societal concern as result of the seemingly random nature of many of these incidents, their substantially higher and growing victim counts (Duwe, 2020;Krouse & Richardson, 2015;Lankford & Silver, 2020), 7 and the higher use of AWs and other high-capacity semiautomatics in these incidents (on the latter point, see below; also see Duwe, 2007;Koper et al., 2018;Krouse & Richardson, 2015). ...
... Data taken from Klarevas (2016) after 2014. Changes in offender motivations and behaviors seem to be driving this trend (Lankford & Silver, 2020), but the increasing availability of LCM weapons may also be a facilitator. ...
Article
Research Summary This article examines the use, impacts, and regulation of assault weapons and other high‐capacity semiautomatic firearms as they pertain to the problem of mass shootings in the United States. High‐capacity semiautomatics (which include assault weapons as a subset) are used in between 20% and 58% of all firearm mass murders, and they are used in a particularly high share of public mass shootings. Mass shootings perpetrated with these firearms result in substantially more fatalities and injuries than do attacks with other firearms, and these differences are especially pronounced for the number of victims with nonfatal gunshot injuries. The federal ban on assault weapons and large‐capacity (>10 rounds) ammunition magazines of 1994 had exemptions and loopholes that limited its short‐term effects, but its expiration in 2004 was followed by an increase in the use of these weapons in mass shootings and other crimes. Growing evidence suggests that state‐level restrictions on large‐capacity magazines reduce mass shootings, but further research is needed on the implementation and effects of these laws. Policy Implications Restrictions on large‐capacity magazines are the most important provisions of assault weapons laws in part because they can produce broader reductions in the overall use of high‐capacity semiautomatics that facilitate high‐volume gunfire attacks. Data on mass shooting incidents suggest these magazine restrictions can potentially reduce mass shooting deaths by 11% to 15% and total victims shot in these incidents by one quarter, likely as upper bounds. It may take several years for the effects of these laws to be fully realized, however, depending on their specific provisions, especially with regard to treatment of pre‐ban weaponry.
... Attracting widespread media attention, these incidents are the type of "signal crimes" that create a shared sense of dangerousness in communal spaces, and which lead to national calls for greater law enforcement and government control (Fridel, 2021b;Innes, 2004;Silva & Capellan, 2019). Nevertheless, the number of public mass shootings continue to rise, reaching historical highs over the past five years (Fridel, 2021b;Lankford & Silver, 2020). ...
... Mindful of our partial reliance on open-source materials, we concluded that data most likely to be discoverable would occur in this timeframe, and our data could be skewed by an availability bias if we included incidents occurring before the late 1990s (Silva & Greene-Colozzi, 2019a). Third, since the motivations of these deadliest attackers may differ in some way(s) from the "typical" public mass shooter (who kills fewer than 12 people) (Lankford & Silver, 2020), we think it is worth separately considering the sequence of behaviors and experiences of the deadliest attackers for purposes of comparison with future sequencing studies of more typical offenders. Finally, using only the deadliest attacks allows us to avoid the ongoing definitional debate around what qualifies as a "mass" shooting (i.e., victim thresholds; for an overview of this issue see, for example: (Huff-Corzine & Corzine, 2020; Silva & Capellan, 2019). ...
Article
Researchers of public mass shooters are increasingly focusing on the pre-attack behaviors and experiences of these offenders. Varying in scope from consideration of individual factors to more generalized life course and threat assessment analyses, their scholarship has identified behavioral and experiential factors associated with public mass shooters. However, what is generally missing from this body of research is consideration of the order in which the offender encounters these factors, and prior related research has shown that analyzing sequences allows for insights not available from a catalogue of common characteristics. To address this shortcoming, we use a sample of offenders from 1999 to 2020 for whom the most detailed data is available and conduct a sequence analysis of their stressors, antisocial behaviors, mental health issues, and planning and preparation activities. We calculate proximity coefficients for each variable in relation to all others, capturing both local and distant connections between and among them. Our findings reveal relatively coherent phases in the lives of attackers, highlight the centrality of family problems and interest in past mass killings in the overall sequence, and provide new context to understanding the effect of mental health issues and firearms acquisition in the lives of offenders. A discussion of findings illustrates potential intervention points that may have been overlooked, as well suggestions for future research.
... Evidence suggests that mass public shootings are getting more frequent and more deadly Duwe, 2020;Lankford & Silver, 2020). Lankford and Silver (2020) argue that the rise of celebrity culture in the age of mass media and social media has led to more mass public shooters who are motivated to kill large numbers of victims for fame or attention (see, Bushman, 2018;Langman, 2018;Lankford, 2016), as well as to more shooters who have been directly influenced by past mass shooters (for research on mass shooting "contagion" and "copycat" killings, see Meindl & Ivy, 2018;Towers et al., 2015). ...
... Evidence suggests that mass public shootings are getting more frequent and more deadly Duwe, 2020;Lankford & Silver, 2020). Lankford and Silver (2020) argue that the rise of celebrity culture in the age of mass media and social media has led to more mass public shooters who are motivated to kill large numbers of victims for fame or attention (see, Bushman, 2018;Langman, 2018;Lankford, 2016), as well as to more shooters who have been directly influenced by past mass shooters (for research on mass shooting "contagion" and "copycat" killings, see Meindl & Ivy, 2018;Towers et al., 2015). The role of serious mental illness in motivating mass shootings, however, remains an open question (Skeem & Mulvey, 2020). ...
Article
Mass shootings are often blamed on serious mental illness. This study assesses the role of psychosis in contributing to mass shootings along a continuum. The role of psychosis is compared with other motiva- tions for mass shootings including employment issues, interpersonal conflict, relationship issues, hate, and fame-seeking. Perpetrators motivated by psychosis are also compared with other perpetrators on several well-established risk factors for violence. It is hypothesized that a mental health history is com- mon among mass shooters, but symptoms of psychosis only directly motivate mass shootings for a mi- nority of cases. A dataset of 172 mass shooters was created, coded on 166 life history variables using publicly available data. The entire dataset and codebook are publicly available. The findings show that symptoms of psychosis played no role in 69% of cases, but psychosis may have played a minor role in 11% of cases, a moderate role in 9% of cases, and a major role in 11% of cases. Perpetrators motivated by psychosis were similar to mass shooters with other motivations in terms of demographics and com- mon risk factors for violence. The role of serious mental illness in mass shootings is complex. The data indicate that access to mental health care may help prevent mass shootings in a minority of cases, but this is far from the only solution to mass shootings.
... of the term, however, this problem has gotten worse. The five deadliest incidents in national history have occurred since 2007, and the average number of victims killed per public mass shooting increased 47% since 2010, compared to previous decades (Lankford & Silver, 2020). ...
Article
This study compared public mass shooters (n = 171) and active shooters (n = 63) in the United States to the general population, homicide offenders, and people who die by suicide. Comparisons with the general population are the foundation of epidemiological research, and comparisons with homicide offenders and people who die by suicide are helpful because public mass shooters and active shooters always intend to kill and often take their own lives. Findings indicate that public mass shooters were more often male, unmarried, and unemployed than the average American. Active shooters were not significantly different from the general population based on prior felony convictions or preexisting firearm ownership. Public mass shooters and active shooters appeared more like people who die by suicide than homicide offenders, given their high frequency of premeditation, acting alone, suicidal ideation, and unnatural death. Overall, this suggests that felony histories and firearm ownership may have limited utility for threat assessment, but several suicide prevention strategies might help reduce the prevalence of these attacks.
... Mass shootings related to fame seeking have been increasing in recent years, 14 leading to higher casualty counts that make headlines. Fame-seeking perpetrators are often young White males targeting schools. ...
Article
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Importance Understanding the motivation of a mass shooter’s intent to do harm can help practitioners and policy makers develop more effective intervention strategies. Objective To examine the prevalence of communication of intent to do harm, known as leakage, in a sample of 170 mass public shooters from 1966 to 2019; the characteristics of perpetrators who do and do not leak their plans; and whether leakage is a form of fame-seeking behavior or a cry for help among individuals who are in crisis or suicidal. Design, Setting, and Participants This cross-sectional study included perpetrators who killed 4 or more people in a public space from 1996 to 2019 and were included in a comprehensive database of US mass shootings. That database was built from August 2017 to December 2019, and analysis took place from January to May 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures Leakage was identified and coded using publicly available records. Any communication to a third party of an intent to do harm prior to the shooting was coded as leakage. Logistic regression models were used to examine the risk factors associated with leakage. Models estimating leakage were examined to assess the 2 hypothesized pathways to leakage (the cry-for-help model and the fame-seeking model). Results The 170 participants in this sample included 166 (97.7%) male perpetrators and 3 (2.3%) female perpetrators, with a mean (SD) age of 34 (12) years. Overall, 161 participants had known race and ethnicity: 11 (6.8%) Asian individuals, 35 (21.7%) Black individuals, 14 (8.7%) Latinx individuals, 7 (4.4%) Middle Eastern individuals, 3 (1.9%) Native American individuals, 89 (55.3%) White individuals, and 2 (1.2%) individuals with other race and ethnicity. Overall, 79 mass shooters (46.5%) leaked their plans. Of perpetrators who leaked their plans, 35 (44.3%) leaked specific plans about a mass shooting, and 44 (55.1%) leaked nonspecific plans about generalized violence. The study findings indicate that leakage was associated with receiving counseling (odds ratio, 7.0; 95% CI, 2.0-24.8) and suicidality (odds ratio, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.0-13.6), suggesting that leakage may best be characterized as a cry for help from perpetrators prior to their act. Conclusions and Relevance In this study, nearly half of the perpetrators of mass shootings leaked their plans. Leakage was associated with receiving counseling and suicidality. Leakage is a critical moment for mental health intervention to prevent gun violence. Opportunities to report threats of violence need to be increased. Traditional threat assessment models focused on specific threats of violence may miss critical opportunities for intervention.
... However, the reality is that the vast majority of mass murders involve careful planning and preparation over a considerable length of time, often several weeks or months [9]. Although recent evidence suggests an uptick in incident prevalence [10] and casualties per incident [11] of mass murder in the USA, such data on mass violence have remained stable over several decades despite an exponential growth in incident reporting by the media [9]. In contrast to serial murder, where far more cases occur within the USA per capita compared to other nations, mass murder occurs with more frequency, though still statistically rare, across many nations [8]. ...
Article
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Prevalence rates of multiple homicide are statistically rare and vary across nations, yet such cases create substantial suffering for victims and can generate widespread fear among the general population. Despite extreme rarity, it remains important for forensic experts and professionals to be prepared when extremely violent events occur. This review summarizes contemporary behavioral science of serial and mass murder, then highlights the application of recent leisure research to add new motivational and behavioral insights. Research on the application of leisure science to homicide research is in its infancy, yet in conjunction with other related behavioral science disciplines, appears to hold promise in understanding, and perhaps helping to prevent, future violence.
... Lankford finds that firearm ownership rates were statistically related to the number of mass shooters in a country, even when omitting the United States which has both atypically high numbers of mass shooters as well as unusually high rates of gun ownership. Further, mass shootings have been found to be increasing in lethality over time as shooters learn from previous attacks and spend time planning and amassing more weaponry (Lankford and Silver 2019). ...
Article
Both media and research often frame mass shootings as an individual issue having to do with mental illness or other psycho-social problems. This work has unfolded in much the same fashion as that on other negative or antisocial behaviors-such as the individual pathologization of suicide or rape. However, what this work has shown is that there are often a set of circumstances that are uniquely social that motivate such actions. Following work in sociology, which offers social psychological and cultural explanations for gun violence, we argue that mass shooter motivations reflect social conditions-especially those that instantiate toxic masculinity, social exclusion, and racism-conducive to these events. This article uses a computational textual modeling approach to analyze the distinct social logics that motivate mass shooters. To do this, we identify a sample of 27 publicly available mass shooter "manifestos," or documents left behind by shooters following their actions. Using topic models, we show that mass shooters exhibit a variety of preoccupations that underlie their actions. While shooters can exhibit a multitude of possible motivations, we find that expressions of masculine overcompensation, ritualistic responses to exclusion, and racialized status threat are prominent features of mass shooter manifestos, corroborating recent sociological explanations of mass shootings. 2
... For example, in the United States, school shootings appear to have become more prevalent and more deadly in recent years (Lankford and Silver, 2020). School resource officers are often based in a local police department but responsible for school safety; they are charged with preparing plans to prepare for a mass attack (Livingston, Rossheim, & Hall, 2019). ...
Preprint
Digital technologies have fundamentally altered emergency and crisis management work. This essay sketches the macro-environmental transformations wrought by digital technologies in emergency and crisis management and outlines their implications for managerial reasoning and decision-making. It proposes multi-level approaches to improve congruence between crisis managers and their environments to reduce cognitive and organizational barriers and improve decision-making. The future of crisis management lies in reducing the misalignment between personal, proximal, and distal environmental conditions.
... Trump's claims have been heavily criticised by mental health experts, who called his comments "inaccurate" and "stigmatising" (Evans, 2019). He failed to take into account other probable risk factors, which could explain the motivation to kill others (Van Brunt & Pescara-Kovach, 2019), such as family conflict, financial hardship, drugs, gang affiliation (Fox & Fridel, 2016), religious, racial or political ideologies (Chau, 2018), or driven purely by notoriety (Lankford & Silver, 2020). ...
Article
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The current commentary takes a closer look at the issue of mass shootings in the United States and the stigma experienced by those with a serious mental illness. Mental illness is not a predictor of gun violence. However, false assumptions of mental illness only reinforce the negative belief that individuals who have mental illness are dangerous and violent, exacerbating the stigma already attached to those suffering from mental illnesses. Linking gun crime to mental illness is a barrier to seeking treatment and having a mental illness does not necessarily imply an individual will commit indiscriminate acts of violence. Research reports that most mental health symptoms were not related to gun violence, but easy access to firearms, and other demographic variables, were identified as the primary cause. Mass shootings exert a strong influence on public policy and public perception. There needs to be a shift in attitudes toward mental illness.
Article
Although it is important to know what public mass shooters have in common, it is also helpful to understand when different variables were present on their pathways to violence. This study explored the timing of key life events for the deadliest public mass shooters in the United States since Columbine (N = 14). Using data from official reports and supplementary sources, we found perpetrators’ mental health contacts often began more than a decade before their mass shootings, and often ended more than a year before their attacks. Mental illness was typically a constant in their lives, not something that automatically caused them to attack. While treatment may help prevent some mass shootings, mental health professionals have limited influence over patients they have not recently seen. In turn, perpetrators’ work and school problems also typically began long before their mass shootings, but these issues continued closer to their attacks. Employers and educators may therefore have an opportunity to intervene later in the process. Firearms acquisition often occurred in the final stages, after perpetrators were already interested in mass murder. Red flag laws and ERPOs which prohibit sales to explicitly dangerous individuals may therefore help reduce the prevalence of these attacks.
Article
Two of the worst targeted attacks on American police officers in recent history occurred within eleven days of each other. Although it seems clear their proximity was not merely attributable to chance, the connection between these incidents, and the implications for understanding copycat violence, have never been fully explored. This study analyzes the perpetrators of these attacks from a “thresholds of violence” perspective, which suggests the first actor in a sequence is more likely to be disturbed and violence prone, while subsequent actors are typically less disturbed but more socially influenced. Results suggest the thresholds model has both merits and limits. The first attacker did have more psychological problems and violence in his past, and the second did seem more influenced by violent role models. However, there were also many similarities between them, and both attacked due to a combination of internal and external factors. If this study's findings are generalizable, higher risks of becoming a copycat offender may exist for individuals who have (1) personal similarities with previous attackers, (2) a history of psychological problems, (3) a history of interest in violent actors, and (4) recent escalation in their online behavior. Recommendations are offered for future research, offender profiling, and violence prevention.
Article
This study provides a comparative analysis of foiled and completed mass shootings in the United States between 2000 and 2019. Specifically, this work quantitatively examines differences in mass shooting perpetrator, motivation, and target characteristics. Findings identify significant predictors of foiled mass shootings including student-aged perpetrators, dyads, fame and ideological motivations, as well as school and religious targets. Completed mass shootings more often involved perpetrators with a criminal history, victim-specific motivations, and targeting workplace or open-space locations. A discussion of findings highlights implications for scholars, law enforcement, policymakers, and the general public.
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Semiautomatic rifles have been used in some of the largest active shooter incidents in US history.¹ The weapons were banned in 1994 under the federal assault weapons ban but were reintroduced to the public marketplace in 2004.² Currently, there are no comprehensive assessments of injuries from different types of firearms. We compared the number of persons wounded, killed, and either wounded or killed during active shooter incidents with and without semiautomatic rifles.
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In recent years, major media organizations have wondered if their coverage of mass shooters actually increases the risk of future attacks, and have asked how their reporting could be improved. In response, 149 experts have called for media to stop publishing the names and photos of mass killers (except during ongoing searches for escaped suspects), but continue reporting the other details of these crimes as needed. Here, we review some of the most important scientific findings on (a) the nature of media coverage of mass killers, (b) its consequences, and (c) solutions that could help make this coverage safer, and summarize how new studies published in this special issue of American Behavioral Scientist add to this valuable knowledge base.
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Contagion and copycat behavior among mass killers is often discussed in the media when there are multiple attacks within a short span of time. Proximity in time, however, does not necessarily mean that one attack inspired another. This study examines the clearest cases of role modeling and fame seeking among mass killers in which the perpetrators personally acknowledged these types of influence and motivation in their own lives. Instead of simply categorizing potential copycat offenders in a “yes”/“no” binary fashion, it outlines many different types of influence, imitation, and inspiration and then provides evidence on perpetrators who represent examples of each type. Overall, findings suggest that most killers were not gaining insights into attack methodology from their role models, but rather were drawn to the prior perpetrators for a variety of personal reasons. Looking ahead, because of the frequency of mass killers citing previous perpetrators as role models or sources of inspiration, it is critical that media outlets give careful consideration to how they cover such incidents.
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For many years, the conventional wisdom was that most acts of aggression and violence stem from insecurities and low self-esteem. The possibility that some mass shooters have low self-esteem, low self-worth, or painful personal insecurities should not lead us to overlook another more likely possibility: that a significant number of mass shooters may have large egos and narcissistic tendencies. This article will (a) describe the psychological concepts of narcissism and narcissistic traits; (b) review previous research on links between narcissism, aggression, and violence; (c) review evidence that some mass shooters exhibit narcissistic traits; and (d) discuss the implications of narcissistic mass shooters for society and the media coverage of their shooting rampages.
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Prior research has shown that many mass shooters have explicitly admitted they want fame and have directly reached out to media organizations to get it. These fame-seeking offenders are particularly dangerous because they kill and wound significantly more victims than other active shooters, they often compete for attention by attempting to maximize victim fatalities, and they can inspire contagion and copycat effects. However, if the media changes how they cover mass shooters, they may be able to deny many offenders the attention they seek and deter some future perpetrators from attacking. We propose that media organizations should no longer publish the names or photos of mass shooters (except during ongoing searches for escaped suspects), but report everything else about these crimes in as much detail as desired. In this article, we (1) review the consequences of media coverage of mass shooters, (2) outline our proposal, (3) show that its implementation is realistic and has precedent, (4) discuss anticipated challenges, and (5) recommend future steps for consensus building and implementation.
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This document provides evidence to support the idea that school shooters have been influenced by previous perpetrators.
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Recent proliferation of TV programming for the tween audience is supported on the Internet with advertising, fan clubs, and other online communities. These Internet tools expand TV's potential influence on human development. Yet little is known about the kinds of values these shows portray. To explore this issue, a new method for conducting content analysis was developed; it used personality indices to measure value priorities and desire for fame in TV programming. The goal was to document historical change in the values communicated to tween audiences, age 9-11, who are major media consumers and whose values are still being formed. We analyzed the top two tween TV shows in the U.S. once a decade over a time span of 50 years, from 1967 through 2007. Greenfield's (2009a) theory of social change and human development served as the theoretical framework; it views technology, as well as urban residence, formal education, and wealth, as promoting individualistic values while diminishing communitarian or familistic ones. Fame, an individualistic value, was judged the top value in the shows of 2007, up from number fifteen (out of sixteen) in most of the prior decades. In contrast, community feeling was eleventh in 2007, down from first or second place in all prior decades. According to the theory, a variety of sociodemographic shifts, manifest in census data, could be causing these changes; however, because social change in the U.S. between 1997 and 2007 centered on the expansion of communication technologies, we hypothesize that the sudden value shift in this period is technology driven. © 2008 Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace.
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Several past studies have found that media reports of suicides and homicides appear to subsequently increase the incidence of similar events in the community, apparently due to the coverage planting the seeds of ideation in at-risk individuals to commit similar acts. Here we explore whether or not contagion is evident in more high-profile incidents, such as school shootings and mass killings (incidents with four or more people killed). We fit a contagion model to recent data sets related to such incidents in the US, with terms that take into account the fact that a school shooting or mass murder may temporarily increase the probability of a similar event in the immediate future, by assuming an exponential decay in contagiousness after an event. We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past. On average, this temporary increase in probability lasts 13 days, and each incident incites at least 0.30 new incidents (p = 0.0015). We also find significant evidence of contagion in school shootings, for which an incident is contagious for an average of 13 days, and incites an average of at least 0.22 new incidents (p = 0.0001). All p-values are assessed based on a likelihood ratio test comparing the likelihood of a contagion model to that of a null model with no contagion. On average, mass killings involving firearms occur approximately every two weeks in the US, while school shootings occur on average monthly. We find that state prevalence of firearm ownership is significantly associated with the state incidence of mass killings with firearms, school shootings, and mass shootings.
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This article reports the results obtained in two studies of People magazine. In Study I, using 1,253 People cover stories as a basis, we examined characteristics of and changes in cultural celebrities over the magazine's first twenty-five years of publication. Our results suggest that, from 1974 to 1998, the cover themes of issues of People magazine shifted away from celebrity careers to a preoccupation with the stars' personal problems-illnesses, crime, and family/sex issues. Over the decades, moreover, the basis for People celebrities appearing in a cover story became decidedly more negative. During the early years, most of the stars were on People's cover because they had accomplished a virtuous objective. More recently, however, the magazine heaped attention-perhaps inordinate attention-on the "accomplishments" of rapists, child abusers, drug addicts, and murderers. In Study II, we compared People cover celebrities in the year before (N=53) and after (N=50) September 11, 2001. Our results suggest that the tone of magazine cover stories was generally more positive after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Thus, the Attack on America may have had the unintended consequence of shifting our attention back to virtuous celebrities-heroes-rather than villains.
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Suicide bombing has become the most potent weapon in the arsenal of terrorist groups in the Middle East, South Asia, and elsewhere. This analysis traces the weapon’s history, both ancient and modern to the present day. It includes commentary on the benefits and costs of suicide attacks as well as the motives of the ‘martyrs’ themselves and the organizations that send them on their way. Finally, the analysis pays attention to countermeasures, policies at the disposal of the authorities to stop or at least inhibit so-called ‘martyrdom operations.’
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In line with Greenfield's (2009) theory of social change and human development, current popular preadolescent TV shows suggest that fame, an individualistic goal, is an important and achievable aspiration (Uhls & Greenfield, 2011). Such messages may be particularly salient for preadolescents, ages 10-12. This study used focus groups and mixed analytic methods (qualitative and quantitative) to examine how popular media, passive and interactive, are interpreted by preadolescents and how their interpretations relate to their media practices and future goals. Quantitative analysis revealed that fame was the number one value, selected as the most important value for participants' future goals significantly more frequently than expected by chance. Qualitative analysis of focus group discourse suggested that (a) youth absorb messages in their media environment regarding fame as a future goal and (b) their interpretations of these messages highlight the importance and value of public recognition. Enacting the value of fame, the majority of preadolescent participants use online video sharing sites (e.g., YouTube) to seek an audience beyond their immediate community.
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Recent research has demonstrated that aspiring to the American Dream of financial success has negative consequences for various aspects of psychological well-being. The present longitudinal study examining the relation between the goal for financial success, attainment of that goal, and satisfaction with various life domains found that the negative impact of the goal for financial success on overall life satisfaction diminished as household income increased. The negative consequences of the goal for financial success seemed to be limited to those specific life domains that either concerned relationships with other people or involved income-producing activities, such as one's job; satisfactions with two of those life domains, however, were among the strongest predictors of overall life satisfaction in this sample of well-educated respondents in their late 30s. The negative consequences were particularly severe for the domain of family life; the stronger the goal for financial success, the lower the satisfaction with family life, regardless of household income.
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This study examined the 15 deadliest public mass shootings in the United States from March 1998 to February 2018 to assess (a) leakage of violent thoughts/intent, (b) leakage of specific interest in mass killing, (c) concerning behaviors reported to law enforcement, (d) concerning interest in homicide reported to law enforcement, and (e) firearms acquisition. We then compared our findings on the deadliest public mass shooters with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) findings on active shooters in general. Overall, the results suggest that most incidents were indeed preventable based on information known about offenders in advance, and that the deadliest mass shooters exhibited more warning signs and were more often reported to law enforcement than other active shooters. Future prevention efforts should aim to educate, encourage, and pressure the public to report warning signs to law enforcement, educate and train law enforcement so that they can more effectively investigate potential threats, and limit firearms access for people who have admitted having homicidal or suicidal thoughts or being interested in committing a mass shooting. These relatively straightforward steps could significantly reduce the prevalence of future attacks.
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The Columbine tragedy on April 20, 1999 began a new era in law enforcement as it became apparent that the police response to such mass shootings must be drastically altered. By the time the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, outdated police response strategies had been replaced with new, aggressive tactics used by the first officers on the scene. The frequency with which these events occur remind us time and again about the importance of training and preparing for these critical situations before they occur in our own backyards. Active Shooter Events and Response is one of the first attempts to not only discuss historic active shooter events, but also to actually dissect some of them-empowering law enforcement professionals by leveraging the essential knowledge and experience of those who have gone before us. The book also offers insight into the training methodologies and strategies used to prepare our nation's first responders to address the active shooter threat. In addition, the authors discuss the clear and present threat of terrorist organizations using these mass shooter tactics on American soil-similar to the attacks in Beslan, Russia and Mumbai, India. Written by members of the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University, this book is the culmination of more than a decade's worth of training and research into active shooter events and represents state-of-the-art, evidence-based best practices.
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This study compares the demographic, background, motivation, and pre‐event and event‐level behaviors across four types of mass public shooters: disgruntled employee, school, ideologically motivated, and rampage offenders. Using a database containing detailed information on 318 mass public shootings that occurred in the United States between 1966 and 2017, we find systematic differences in the characteristics, motivations, target selection, planning, and incident‐level behaviors among these offenders. The results show that ideologically motivated shooters to be the most patient, and methodical, and as a result the most lethal. Conversely, disgruntled employees, who are driven by revenge, tend to have little time to plan and consequently are the least lethal shooters. These, among other differences, underscore the need for prevention strategies and policies to be tailored to specific types of offenders. Furthermore, the results also highlight commonalities across offender type, suggesting that the social and psychological pathways to violence are universal across offenders.
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In the United States and Europe, the distinction between public mass shooters and suicide terrorists no longer seems particularly meaningful. A number of public mass shooters have considered using bombs and claimed to be sacrificing themselves for an ideological cause, and many suicide terrorists have attacked without organizational support, using firearms, for what appear to be largely personal reasons. Previous research has also documented several common factors in these offenders’ lives, including (a) suicidal motives and life indifference, (b) perceived victimization, and (c) desires for attention or fame. These factors are not always easy for observers to recognize in advance, so mental health professionals, the public, and law enforcement officials might need help from experts to more successfully identify at-risk individuals. This article reviews the evidence of each factor, provides a list of specific warning signs, and offers recommendations for future research. Ultimately, an evidence-based approach to prevention could help save both the lives of many potential victims and the lives of the would-be attackers themselves.
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Given the intense news coverage that mass shootings receive and recent findings on contagion effects, it is important to examine how news media organizations cover these crimes. While reporting the “who” of news is a standard journalistic practice, there is growing debate regarding the extent to which the perpetrators of mass shootings should be named, pictured, and discussed in news media coverage. Within the theoretical framework of agenda-setting, this study examined U.S. newspaper photographic coverage following three major school shootings. Through content analysis of 4,934 photographs from 9 days of newspaper coverage, this study made several key findings about the overall prominence of photo use, changes in photo use during the 3 days following mass shootings, and comparisons between photos of perpetrators and victims. In particular, the study found empirical evidence that on a photos-per-individual basis, the coverage gave more attention to perpetrators than to individual deceased victims by a ratio of 16 to 1. Given contagion effects, this study finding raises serious concerns about current practices in news media publication of perpetrator photos. Although the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics encourages news media members to seek truth and report it, the code also emphasizes moral imperatives to “balance the public’s need for information against potential harms” and “avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.”
Article
A mass killing is a complex behavior that is the product of a range of variables. Recent research suggests one such variable by showing that when a mass killing occurs there is a heightened chance of another occurring in the near future. This increase in probability has been referred to as contagion and one possible mechanism for contagion may be generalized imitation. Generalized imitation requires the presence of some model to prompt imitation, and we suggest media reporting methods as a prominent model inspiring future mass killings. This article analyzes mass killings as the culmination of a sequence of thoughts and actions that are influenced by environmental events including media reports of mass killings. We then evaluate media reporting guidelines and research related to the prevention of suicide and other imitational behaviors to identify reactive and proactive strategies that could minimize the likelihood of one mass killing inducing another.
Article
In recent years, some critics have suggested that the media make mass killers into celebrities by giving them too much attention. However, whether the media coverage these offenders receive actually approaches the amounts given to celebrities has never been tested. This study compared perpetrators of seven mass killings during 2013–2017 with more than 600 celebrities over the same time period. Findings indicate that the mass killers received approximately $75 million in media coverage value, and that for extended periods following their attacks they received more coverage than professional athletes and only slightly less than television and film stars. In addition, during their attack months, some mass killers received more highly valued coverage than some of the most famous American celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Jennifer Aniston. Finally, most mass killers received more coverage from newspapers and broadcast/cable news than the public interest they generated through online searches and Twitter seems to warrant. Unfortunately, this media attention constitutes free advertising for mass killers that may increase the likelihood of copycats.
Article
Due to their sensational nature, mass shootings receive a considerable amount of attention in the media. Despite their rarity, not all shootings garner the same coverage. The present study examines characteristics of newsworthiness among 90 shootings between 2000 and 2012. Using a media distortion analysis of articles in The New York Times, specific consideration is given to how offender characteristics, victim counts, and locations of the events impact the newsworthiness of each case. The findings indicate that race/ethnicity and victim counts are the most salient predictor of whether or not a shooting was covered, with perpetrators of Asian and other descent and those events with higher victim counts generating more prominent coverage (measured as higher article and word counts), whereas incidents occurring in locations other than schools yielded less coverage. Implications from the findings, both for the general public and media practices, as well as study limitations, also are considered.
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Increasingly in America, fame is revered as the ultimate form of prestige-bearing success, and the distinction between fame and infamy seems to be disappearing. In this context, some rampage shooters succumb to “delusions of grandeur” and seek fame and glory through killing. The present study offers initial findings on the behavior of fame-seeking rampage shooters, and then tests for differences between offenders who explicitly sought fame and other offenders. The results suggest that fame-seeking rampage shooters have existed for more than 40 years, but they are more common in recent decades and in the United States than in other countries. Overall, fame-seeking offenders appear younger than other rampage shooters, and they kill and wound significantly more victims. Several empirical predictions are made about the expected frequency and characteristics of future rampage shootings.
Article
This report focuses on mass shootings and selected implications they have for federal policy in the areas of public health and safety. While such crimes most directly impact particular citizens in very specific communities, addressing these violent episodes involves officials at all levels of government and professionals from numerous disciplines. This report does not discuss gun control and does not systematically address the broader issue of gun violence. Also, it is not intended as an exhaustive review of federal programs addressing the issue of mass shootings.
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Celebrity Culture and the American Dream, Second Edition considers how major economic and historical factors shaped the nature of celebrity culture as we know it today, retaining the first edition's examples from the first celebrity fan magazines of 1911 to the present and expanding to include updated examples and additional discussion on the role of the internet and social media in today's celebrity culture. Equally important, the book explains how and why the story of Hollywood celebrities matters, sociologically speaking, to an understanding of American society, to the changing nature of the American Dream, and to the relation between class and culture. This book is an ideal addition to courses on inequalities, celebrity culture, media, and cultural studies.
Article
Public mass shooters are often assumed to be an exceptionally American problem, but little is known about what proportion of global offenders attack in the United States, or how America’s offenders compare to those in other countries. The present study offers the first quantitative analysis of all known offenders from 1966 to 2012 who attacked anywhere on the globe and killed a minimum of four victims. The results suggest that public mass shooters in the United States are significantly more likely to arm themselves with multiple weapons and attack at school and workplace settings, while offenders from other countries are more likely to strike at military sites. These differences may be partially attributable to America’s national gun culture and its particular set of social strains.
Article
Background: Active shooter incidents have led to the recognition that the traditional response paradigm of sequential response and scene entry by law enforcement, first responders, and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel produced delays in care and suboptimal victim outcomes. The Hartford Consensus Group developed recommendations to improve the response to and outcomes from active shooter events and urged that a continuum of care be implemented that incorporates not only EMS response, but also the initiation of care by law enforcement officers and potentially by lay bystanders. Objective: To develop and implement tiered educational programs designed to teach police officers and lay bystanders the principles of initial trauma care and bleeding control using as a foundation the U.S. military's Tactical Combat Casualty Care course and the guidelines of the Committee on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care. Discussion: The Tactical Casualty Care for Law Enforcement and First Responders course is a 1-day program combining didactic lecture, hands-on skills stations, and clinical scenarios designed primarily for police officers. The Bleeding Control for the Injured is a 2- to 3-h program for the potential citizen responder in the skills of hemorrhage control. In addition, we document the application of these skills by law enforcement officers and first responders in several real-life incidents involving major hemorrhage. Conclusions: Developing and implementing tiered educational programs for hemorrhage control will improve response by police officers and the lay public. Educating law enforcement officers in these skills has been demonstrated to improve trauma victim survival.
Article
“Active Shootings,” which include shootings in public, confined areas such as schools, often traumatize communities and attract intense media coverage. Proposed policy responses to the phenomenon, such as concealing information as to casualty counts and even the identities of shooters, often suppose that active shootings are “contagious,” in that previous occurrences can enhance the likelihood of subsequent occurrences. This study marks the first attempt at assessment of the contagiousness of the active shooting phenomenon, and deploys a statistical model—the series hazard model—that is well-suited to the substantive issue of contagion as well as the fine-grained nature of the active shooting data. Results indicate that the hazard of observed active shootings was a function of the number of active shootings that preceded them in the previous two weeks.
Article
Previous research suggests that there are fundamental psychological and behavioral differences between offenders who commit murder and offenders who commit murder-suicide. Whether a similar distinction exists for rampage, workplace, and school shooters remains unknown. Using data from the 2010 NYPD report, this study presents results from the first regression analysis of all qualifying mass shooters who struck in the USA between 1966 and 2010 (N = 185). Findings suggest that there are fundamental differences between mass shooters who die as a result of their attacks and mass shooters who live. Patterns among offenders, the weapons they use, the victims they kill, and the locations they attack may have significant implications for scholars and security officials alike.
Article
Even though previous research has not examined mass murder prior to 1965, scholars have asserted that the mid-1960s marked the onset of an unprecedented and ever-growing mass murder wave. Using news accounts and the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) as sources of data, this study analyzes 909 mass killings that took place between 1900 and 1999. Although the mid-1960s marked the beginning of a mass murder wave, it was not unprecedented, because mass killings were nearly as common during the 1920s and 1930s. The results also show that familicides, the modal mass murder over the last several decades, were even more prevalent before the 1970s. Moreover, mass killers were older, more suicidal, and less likely to use guns in the first two-thirds of the 20th century. Although some have claimed that workplace massacres represent a new “strain” in mass murder, the findings suggest that the only new type of mass killing that emerged during the 20th century was the drug-related massacre.
Article
For years, scholars have claimed that suicide terrorists are not suicidal, but rather psychologically normal individuals inspired to sacrifice their lives for an ideological cause, due to a range of social and situational factors. I agree that suicide terrorists are shaped by their contexts, as we all are. However, I argue that these scholars went too far. In The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers, I take the opposing view, based on my in-depth analyses of suicide attackers from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America; attackers who were male, female, young, old, Islamic, and Christian; attackers who carried out the most deadly and the least deadly strikes. I present evidence that in terms of their behavior and psychology, suicide terrorists are much like others who commit conventional suicides, murder-suicides, or unconventional suicides where mental health problems, personal crises, coercion, fear of an approaching enemy, or hidden self-destructive urges play a major role. I also identify critical differences between suicide terrorists and those who have genuinely sacrificed their lives for a greater good. By better understanding suicide terrorists, experts in the brain and behavioral sciences may be able to pioneer exciting new breakthroughs in security countermeasures and suicide prevention. And even more ambitiously, by examining these profound extremes of the human condition, perhaps we can more accurately grasp the power of the human survival instinct among those who are actually psychologically healthy.
Article
A motivational analysis of suicidal terrorism is outlined, anchored in the notion of significance quest. It is suggested that heterogeneous factors identified as personal causes of suicidal terrorism (e.g. trauma, humiliation, social exclusion), the various ideological reasons assumed to justify it (e.g. liberation from foreign occupation, defense of one’s nation or religion), and the social pressures brought upon candidates for suicidal terrorism may be profitably subsumed within an integrative framework that explains diverse instances of suicidal terrorism as attempts at significance restoration, significance gain, and prevention of significance loss. Research and policy implications of the present analysis are considered.
Parkland shooting is now among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history
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Ahmed, S. (2018). Parkland shooting is now among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history. CNN. Retrieved from http://cnn.it/2o871AT
Lost in life, El Paso suspect found a dark world online
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Ailworth, E., Wells, G., & Lovett, I. (2019). Lost in life, El Paso suspect found a dark world online. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/lost-in-life-el-paso-suspect-found-a-dark-world-online-11565308783
“Here I am 26 with no friends no job no girlfriend”: Shooter's manifesto offers clues to 2015 Oregon college rampage
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Anderson, R. (2017). "Here I am, 26, with no friends, no job, no girlfriend": Shooter's manifesto offers clues to 2015 Oregon college rampage. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-schoolshootings-2017-story.html
Adapting to the “new normal” of AR-15 sales.Tactical Retailer
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How doctors save lives after a mass shooting
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Belluz, J. (2017). How doctors save lives after a mass shooting. Vox. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/scienceand-health/2017/10/2/16400954/las-vegas-shooting-hospitals
U.S. terrorism-related cases by year
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The terrible numbers that grow with each mass shooting. The Washington Post
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He wrote disturbed plans for a school shooting
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Bidgood, J. (2018). He wrote disturbed plans for a school shooting. But was that a crime? The New York Times. Retrieved from https://nyti.ms/2FKO7a3
Firearms commerce in the United States: Annual statistical update
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The new dream job: More than a quarter of millennials would quit their job to be famous
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Clapit. (2017). The new dream job: More than a quarter of millennials would quit their job to be famous. Retrieved from http://clapit.com/press/the-new-dream-job/
Inside an accused school shooter's mind: A plot to kill “50 or 60. If I get lucky maybe 150
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Cox, J. (2018). Inside an accused school shooter's mind: A plot to kill "50 or 60. If I get lucky maybe 150." The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://wapo.st/2oNCN6J
Timeline to “retribution”: Isla Vista attacks planned over years
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Duke, A. (2014). Timeline to "retribution": Isla Vista attacks planned over years. CNN. Retrieved from https://www. cnn.com/2014/05/26/justice/california-elliot-rodger-timeline/index.html
Mass murder in the United States: A history
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Mass shootings are getting deadlier not more frequent
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5 chilling pages from the Aurora mass shooter's diary debunk a favorite NRA talking point
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