The United States ranks No. 1 for the country where the most mass shootings have occurred, a whopping 66 percent. Adam Lankford, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama, has done an extensive study on mass shootings between the years of 1966 and 2012.
“Over those five decades, the United States had 90 public mass shootings, defined as shootings that killed four or more victims. Of the 170 other countries examined in the study, only four even made it to double-digits: The Philippines had 18 public mass shootings, followed by Russia with 15, Yemen with 11, and France with 10.”
Mass shooters in the US differ from other countries in several ways. First, mass shooters here tended to use multiple weapons. Second, they targeted schools, office buildings, and factories, whereas in other countries, mass shooters usually shoot at military bases and military-based offices. The US fared better than other countries in the amount of people who were killed in these attacks, though. Lankford’s study showed that 6-7 people were killed on average in American attacks, but that number shot up to 8-9 for other countries. Lankford’s data came mostly from the FBI and the New York police department.
“My study provides empirical evidence… that a nation’s civilian firearm ownership rate is the strongest predictor of its number of public mass shooters,” said Lankford. “Until now, everyone was simply speculating about the relationship between firearms and public mass shootings. My study provides empirical evidence of a positive association between the two.”
Why do we have mass shootings? What makes people do it?
Lankford noted that the concept of the “American Dream” is one reason why we have mass shootings.
“In the United States, where many individuals are socialized to assume that they will reach great levels of success and achieve ‘the American Dream,’ there may be particularly high levels of strain among those who encounter blocked goals or have negative social interactions with their peers, coworkers, or bosses,” he said. “When we add depression, schizophrenia, paranoia, or narcissism into the mix, this could explain why the US has such a disproportionate number of public mass shooters. Other countries certainly have their share of people who struggle with these problems, but they may be less likely to indulge in the delusions of grandeur that are common among these offenders in the US, and, of course, less likely to get their hands on the guns necessary for such attacks.”
For the last several years, gun ownership has been the top controversial topic here in the United States. Gun advocates note that the right to bear arms is written into the nation’s constitution under the second amendment.
President Obama has tried to put stricter gun laws in force, but the National Rifle Association has fought him on every turn.
Studies show that 47 percent of all Americans own a gun and keep it in their home.
What do you think? Do you think American’s have a right to keep their own firearms? Or, should they be taken away from us to prevent mass shootings?
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