Security Newswire

Crime Study Challenges Mass Shooting Myths

Mass shootings have remained stagnant over 34 years, averaging 20 a year and are not fueld by media attention, says a crime study.

According to James Alan Fox, author and criminology professor at Northeastern University, "Public discourse is grounded in myth and misunderstanding about the nature of the offense and those who perpetrate it,” he writes in the journal Homicide Studies. He said, "Without minimizing the pain and suffering of the hundreds of those who have been victimized in recent attacks, the facts clearly say that there has been no increase in mass shootings and certainly no epidemic.”

The study debunks several proposals after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting aimed at stopping mass killings. While he said any plan is worth trying, he concluded that short of abolishing the Second Amendment, there is little that can be done.

“Mass murder just may be a price we pay for living in a society where personal freedom is so highly valued,” he wrote in the study.

In the study, he addressed several myths of mass murders that he says are fostered by the media:

  1. Mass shootings are on the rise. He used FBI statistics and found they have long averaged in the 20s per year, rarely going over 25.
  2. Video games play a role. The study found no link between video games and expanded violence, and blamed the media and lawmakers for using the entertainment industry as a “convenient scapegoat.”
  3. Profiling will help catch killers before they act. The study found that most are white and about 30 years old, characteristics that “are fairly prevalent in the general society.”
  4. Expanded background checks will stop killers from getting guns. The study says that in 93 recent mass shootings, the gun buyers didn’t have a criminal or mental health record. “People cannot be denied their Second Amendment rights just because they look strange or act in an odd manner,” wrote Fox.
  5. An assault weapons ban would work. The study found that the typical weapon used is a pistol, not an “assault weapon” like the semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. Assault weapons were used in 24.6 percent of mass shootings, handguns in 47.9 percent. And limiting the size of magazines weapons can carry wouldn’t help, the report said, because any ban would impact new sales and “there is an ample supply of large capacity magazines already in circulation.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.

Podcasts

Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

Security magazine March 2015 issue cover

2015 March

In this March 2015 issue of Security check out our product preview of ISC West 2015. Also, learn how to make the best use of your security technology by working with your security integrator, get info on penetration testing, and discover how white glove security can enhance bottom line real estate value.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Tougher Cybersecurity Legislation

On January 20, President Barack Obama called for tougher cybersecurity legislation in his 2015 State of the Union address. Which of the following points do you feel is most needed today?
View Results Poll Archive

THE SECURITY STORE

Effective Security Management, 5th Edition.jpg
Effective Security Management, 5th Edition

 Effective Security Management, 5e, teaches practicing security professionals how to build their careers by mastering the fundamentals of good management. Charles Sennewald brings a time-tested blend of common sense, wisdom, and humor to this bestselling introduction to workplace dynamics. 

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.