Congressional Research Service Debunks “Epidemic” of Mass Public Shootings
On July 30, 2014, in the wake of several high-profile public shootings, the Congressional Research Service published a report on mass shootings. The report challenges media characterizations of the mass public shootings as an “epidemic” and instead shows no significant increase in mass shootings in the last fifteen years. Moreover, although there has been an increase in yearly incidents in the 90s, 00s, and 10s, the increase is minor compared to the increase in mass public shootings in the 70s and 80s. The report also points out that overall firearms-related murders have decreased significantly since the 1970s. From 1993 to 2013, the estimated firearms-related homicide victim rate per one hundred thousand of the population decreased from 6.62 to 3.10. The report also challenges the presumption that “assault” weapons are responsible for the large portion of these incidents. Of all mass shootings, which includes familicide and other felony-related mass shootings, an “assault weapon,” as that term is used by Congress, was involved in only 9.78% of all incidents. A copy of the report can be found here.