Mass Shooting Statistics, 3/3/16


Figure 1: 12 month moving average of mass shooting casualties; deaths (dark red), wounded (pink). Source: Mother Jones, for 2/26/2016 data, and author’s calculations.

For a per capita depiction, see this post. The upward trend is obvious there as well.


12 thoughts on “Mass Shooting Statistics, 3/3/16

  1. Jeffrey J. Brown (December, 2015): We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why.

    Premeditated mass shootings in public places are happening more often, some researchers say, plunging towns and cities into grief and riveting the attention of a horrified nation. In general, though, fewer Americans are dying as a result of gun violence — a shift that began about two decades ago.

    In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. The number of victims of crimes involving guns that did not result in death (such as robberies) declined even more precipitously, from 725 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 175 in 2013.

    Older data suggests that gun violence might have been even more widespread previously. The rate of murder and manslaughter excluding negligence reached an apex in 1980, according to the FBI. That year, there were 10.8 willful killings per 100,000 people. Although not a perfect measure of the overall rate of gun violence, the decline in the rate of murder and manslaughter is suggestive: Two in three homicides these days are committed with guns.

    This decline in gun violence is part of an overall decline in violent crime. According to the FBI’s data, the national rate of violent crime has decreased 49 percent since its apex in 1991. Even as a certain type of mass shooting is apparently becoming more frequent, America has become a much less violent place.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Jeffrey J. Brown: I see; since aggregate shootings are down (but high relative to most other advanced economies, in per capita terms), we should not worry about the increase in mass shooting casualties?

      1. Jeffrey J. Brown

        I think that it would be more accurate to say that your post did not tell the complete story, especially in regard to the sharp decline in total gun homicides in the US.

  2. Bruce Hall

    Number of Suicide Bombings Around World Surged 94% in 2014 Amid Rise of ISIS
    read more:

    What does this tell us?
    1. total homicides by firearms are decreasing in the U.S. despite the rapid increase in firearms sales
    2. any highly publicized means of killing people will attract the attention of the fringes of society

    So, perhaps the way to ensure public safety is to stop drawing attention to those who commit atrocities.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Bruce Hall: I see. If we don’t hear it, it won’t happen. In the American context, this is your policy proposal? In your view, is the rise in per capita mass shooting casualties “caused” by the advent of that new-fangled device, the television?

    1. PeakTrader

      Motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. peaked around 1970. Since then, they’ve decreased about 50%, although the population increased substantially. We made Americans more responsible and motor vehicles safer, with more protection.

      Perhaps, we should do the same to reduce mass shootings. We don’t need to wear body armor. However, a responsible adult with a loaded gun may help. (Will a criminal be more likely to rob a store that has a gun or doesn’t have a gun?). Maybe, something like Mothers Against Mass Shootings (MAMS). 🙂

      1. baffling

        “We made Americans more responsible and motor vehicles safer, with more protection.”
        your automobile comparison relies on safety improvements of the auto itself-anitlock breaks, power steering, seat belts, airbags, etc. stricter speed limits. alcohol and drug restrictions. you could take the same approach with guns, and provide more safety measures on the gun itself. we also control who can drive an automobile. age and medical clearance. pass a knowledge and driving test. peace through superior fire power is not always necessary to make improvements.

        1. PeakTrader

          How would more safety measures on the gun itself protect innocent lives? A responsible adult can be more responsible trained in safety, a gun in itself can be a deterrent, and using a gun can protect lives. You don’t want to wear armor. Good luck protecting yourself, and others, against a criminal, who doesn’t obey laws and is willing to use a gun. You don’t need superior firepower to put down a criminal.

    1. Frank Hunter

      Perhaps we need to look into these “mass shootings” and correlate them to trends in the 1. increase and use of psychotropic drugs by the shooters, and /or 2. correlate to the invasion of the middle east in the name of terror and creating a monster by our actions possibly resulting in the 3rd generation of young middle east people(s) are really angry and seek revenge.

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