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New Research Confirms Gun Rampages Are Rising--and Armed Civilians Don't Stop Them


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: gun control, Newtown Massacre, gun violence, children, news, government, ethics, media, lies, politics, americans )

Cal
- 497 days ago - motherjones.com
Data on 84 attacks echoes MoJo's investigation and further debunks the NRA's "good guys with guns" myth.



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Comments

John S. (300)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 5:09 am
Sounds more like gun fury rather than gun rampages. Amazing the average is 2 deaths and 4 shot. I'm just happy they don't teach you how to shoot when you buy a gun.
 

Alexandra Rodda (176)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 5:59 am
It will get even worse when the economic situation continues to deteriorate due to the efforts of the GOP.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 6:21 am
Thanks.
 

Carol D. (108)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 6:50 am
people will be shooting people for no reason at all soon they wont be just for protection I dread to think how bad it will get As i said before maybe Obama should try his brain research on the NRA first
 

Dee C. (214)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 9:45 am
Sadly..shootings have been going on for decades..I don't think its on the rise..I think it is having access to more weapons/ammunition..
Anyone can do research and see that this senseless kind of massacres have been going on a very long time..

Should people be armed themselves..That depends greatly on the individual..

And I find that you just don't hear or read all of the stories where people have saved lives and or themselves by being armed..Those stories don't make the front page too often..But the mass killings do..It's sad but..even sadder is the fact that it is big news..

Thanks Cal..
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 11:06 am
How many of these public shooting-rampages were outside of "gun-free zones", and how did their scale compare to those inside such zones? Did the research account for the effects of the economic recession on mental health (at least on the statistical scale)? There are so many confounding factors here that using the same raw data, somebody could probably produce diametrically opposite conclusions.
 

Winn Adams (191)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 11:35 am
Very sad to think Americans are that violent and think guns and more guns are the answer. They are so wrong.
 

Gene Jacobson (251)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 11:49 am
"Moreover, our investigation made clear that so-called "good guys with guns" do not stop public shooting rampages. Likewise, Blair's data couldn't be any clearer when it comes to the National Rifle Association's favorite myth: He found just 3 cases out of 84 in which an armed individual who had been on the scene used a firearm to stop the shooter. And none of the three were ordinary citizens. According to Blair, in two instances those who intervened were off-duty police officers: one in a case in upstate New York in 2010, and another in a case in Philadelphia in 2005. The third case took place in Winnemucca, Nevada, in 2008; the man there who intervened and shot the rampaging gunman, as I've reported previously, was a US Marine."

Great data, Cal. And it certainly refutes the NRA, doesn't it? In 84 instances where there was an armed individual on the scene only 3 were stopped and those by professionals. I hope this information gets to Congress before they award Wayne the Congressional Medal of Honor. 0.04% were cases in which an armed individual was stopped. So what is the purpose of those other 81 in carrying their guns around if they aren't going to put themselves at risk to stop murderers? It cant make them feel 10 feet tall since they did nothing. Those guns will, like most, be used on someone they know. Most murders are not stranger on stranger crimes, they are committed by people known to the victim, often a spouse and almost always a woman, or a child finding, playing and killing a friend, sibling or self while doing so. Wayne and his organization are only right about one thing. Guns don't kill people. People who HAVE guns kill people with them. And that's not exactly what I'd call "right".
 

Philip Heinlein (471)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 3:56 pm
How would we even know. For years now the NRA has added language to bills in Congress to prevent any and all research related to gun violence.
 

Sandra Patterson (60)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 5:21 pm
sadly noted
 

Lois Jordan (54)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 6:12 pm
Noted. Thanks for the great info, Cal.
Since the Assault Weapons Ban expired after existing for 10 yrs, the sale of these weapons has risen by leaps and bounds. When in place, it served to prevent many mass murders.
 

Jason S. (57)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 6:50 pm
Good posting, thanks
 

Carol Dreeszen (364)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 7:28 pm
Sorry..Gotta call bull on this one...I saw this picture on facebook awhile back that said "I can make anyone believe anything by just saying a New Research shows.." I believe it 100% We Americans have become so programmed to agendas like this we do not even think before deciding for ourselves..it's automatic! Where are all of these gun rampages I want to know! By the sounds of it they are happening quite often as in a couple times a year bare minimum. Crime has decreased in the US because of citizens having the right to have guns. This is clearly a political ploy IMO to sway voters to be anti gun!! An interesting article here on this subject!

Mass shootings are not growing in frequency, experts say
Most victims of gun violence know the person who fired the fatal bullet, experts say. Mass shootings, like in an Aurora movie theater, Portland mall and Conn. elementary school, are not becoming more common.

A gold plaque hangs next to a bullet hole in the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., where a lone gunman killed six worshippers and injured three others last August. It is engraved with the words, "We Are One."

"It frames the wound," says Pardeep Kaleka, son of former temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka, who died in the massacre. "The wound of our community, the wound of our family, the wound of our society."

In the past week, that wound has been ripped open with shocking ferocity.

In what 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.

GUNMAN OPENS FIRE AT CONN. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, KILLS 26

COPS SEARCH FOR MOTIVE AS NEWTOWN, CONN. MOURNS SLAIN


"Are there any sanctuaries left?" Kaleka asked. "Is this a fact of life, one we have become content to live with? Can we no longer feel safe going Christmas shopping in a mall, or to temple, or to the movies? What kind of society have we become?"
As this year of the gun lurches to a close, leaving a bloody wake, we are left to wonder along with Kaleka: What is the meaning of all this?

Even before Portland and Newtown, we saw a former student kill seven people at Oikos University in Oakland, Calif. We saw gunmen in Seattle and Minneapolis each kill five people and then themselves. We saw the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" at a theater in Aurora, Colo., devolve into a bloodbath, as 12 people died and 58 were wounded; 24-year-old James Holmes was arrested outside.

And yet those who study mass shootings say they are not becoming more common.

"There is no pattern, there is no increase," says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston's Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.

The random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest, Fox says. Most people who die of bullet wounds knew the identity of their killer.

Society moves on, he says, because of our ability to distance ourselves from the horror of the day, and because people believe that these tragedies are "one of the unfortunate prices we pay for our freedoms."

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.

Chances of being killed in a mass shooting, he says, are probably no greater than being struck by lightning.

Still, he understands the public perception — and extensive media coverage — when mass shootings occur in places like malls and schools. "There is this feeling that could have been me. It makes it so much more frightening."

On one spring day more than four years ago, it WAS Colin Goddard.

For two years after a gunman pumped four bullets into him in a classroom at Virginia Tech, Goddard said he couldn't bear to listen to television reports about other shootings, or read about them. It brought him back instantly to that day — April 16, 2007 — when he lay on the floor of classroom 211, blood dripping from his shoulder and leg as he wondered if he would survive.

And then, on April 3, 2009, he turned on the computer and heard the news. A 41-year-old man had opened fire at an immigrant community center in Binghamton, N.Y., killing 11 immigrants and two workers. The shooter, a Vietnamese immigrant and a former student at the center, killed himself as police rushed to the scene.

Goddard watched, riveted, realizing that this is what it was like for the rest of the world when a mass shooting occurs. Inside the school, or the mall, or the theater, the victims lie wounded and terrified and dying, while the rest of the world watches from afar. People glue themselves to the television for a day. They soak in the horror from the safety of their office or home. They feel awful for a while. Then they move on with their lives. They grow numb.

Duwe says the cycle has gone on for generations.

"Mass shootings provoke instant debates about violence and guns and mental health and that's been the case since Charles Whitman climbed the tower at the University of Texas in 1966," he said, referring to the engineering student and former Marine who killed 13 people and an unborn child and wounded 32 others in a shooting rampage on campus. "It becomes mind-numbingly repetitive."

"Rampage violence seems to lead to repeated cycles of anguish, investigation, recrimination, and heated debate, with little real progress in prevention," wrote John Harris, clinical assistant professor of medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona, in the June issue of American Journal of Public Health. "These types of events can lead to despair about their inevitability and unpredictability."

And there is despair and frustration, even among those who have set out to stop mass killings.

"We do just seem to slog along, from one tragedy to the next," Tom Mauser said last July, after the Aurora shootings.

Mauser knows all about the slog. He became an outspoken activist against such violence after his 15-year-old son, Daniel, was slain along with 12 other at Columbine High School in 1999. But he has grown frustrated and weary.

"There was a time when I felt a certain guilt," said Mauser. "I'd ask, 'Why can't I do more about this? Why haven't I dedicated myself more to it?' But I'll be damned if I'm going to put it all on my shoulders.

"This," he said, "is all of our problem."

Carolyn McCarthy enlisted in the cause in 1993, when a deranged gunman killed her husband and seriously injured her son in shooting rampage. She has served in Congress since 1997.

Known as the "gun lady" on Capitol Hill for her fierce championship of gun control laws, McCarthy says she nearly gave up her "lonely crusade" after hearing about the Virginia Tech shooting. And when she heard about the January 2011 shooting of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords she says, "I just sat there frozen and watching the television and couldn't stop crying."

"It's like a cancer in our society," she says. "And if we keep doing nothing to stop it, it's only going to spread."

After the Binghamton shootings, Colin Goddard resolved that he had to get involved, to somehow try to stop the cycle. Reminders are lodged inside him: three bullets, a legacy of Virginia Tech.

He now works in Washington for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

"I refuse to believe this is something we have to accept as normal in this country," he said. "There has to be a way to change the culture of violence in our society."
 

greenplanet e. (157)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 10:13 pm
They ARE civilians with guns. Most people are pretty defenseless against a bullet (or several bullets, as the case may be).
 

Anna Undebeck (205)
Friday April 12, 2013, 6:11 am
Noted. Thank you.
 

Freya H. (304)
Friday April 12, 2013, 8:06 am
Here's a great article that debunks the Hitler-was-for-gun-control canard: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/11/gun-advocates-resort-to-lies-about-hitler-to-push-their-agenda/
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday April 12, 2013, 3:36 pm
The methodology casts serious doubt on the results of the study.
http://policeforum.org/library/critical-issues-in-policing-series/Blair-UnitedStatesActiveShooterEventsfrom2000to2010Report-Final.pdf

The search strategy described on Page 3 describes Google searches for news articles matching the specific search-terms, "active shooter, mass shooting, shooting spree, spree shooting, business shooting, mall shooting, and school shooting". If the shooter were stopped before firing, it would not have shown up on the search. Cases where armed civilians stopped assailants (where there would have been no "active shooter"), like one on the same day as the Aurora theater-shooting, cases of private rather than mass-shootings (again no formal "Active shooter" reported), and a whole lot of others, appear to have been missed. Additionally, the media-coverage of shooters has almost certainly risen over the past several years in response to the narrative that these are representative of a social problem which must be addressed, which was not mainstream until recently. This rise would be independent of the actual rate of shootings, so it could easily create a trend in the results that has nothing to do with reality.

A verification-method is also reported, but again it comes down to the criteria for cases to be considered. Any cases where the shooter was stopped before being reported as an "active shooter", or where the crime was committed in private, would not have shown up in the verification.

Here's a general rule that I follow: If you can confidently predict what the results of a study are going to be from the methodology without looking at the data or results, or bringing in outside information, it's rigged and those results are worthless. I could find the trend and inefficacy of armed civilians in the methodology. I don't think there was much left to the MoJo article aside from those.
 
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