A study of mass shootings released by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service shows that, contrary to the media’s ratings-driven obsession with such events—and despite the public’s misconceptions that result—mass public shootings have increased only marginally in recent years. And in fact, if the outlier year of 2012 were excluded, the number of mass shootings would actually be lower.
The report is titled “Mass Murder with Firearms: Incidents and Victims, 1999-2013” and is based on two very large data sets—the FBI’s series of supplemental homicide reports from 1999 to 2013, and a data set compiled by Grant Duwe, a criminologist and the author of Mass Murder in the United States: A History.
“No matter how you cut it, there’s no epidemic,” said James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University criminology professor and expert on mass murder. “This report should calm the fears that many people have that these numbers are out of control."