Mourning and outrage have rocked the nation as mass shootings continue across the United States in some of the latest chapters in the long history of gun violence.
On Wednesday, a gunman shot and killed four people at a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The attack follows high-profile shooting massacres in Buffalo, New York, where 10 black people were killed, and Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in May.
As Americans grapple with these horrific shootings and many demand changes, it is important to understand the language and data surrounding mass shootings around the world and their impact.
“These [data] Meaning is a very small part of life that changes forever after these tragedies… [Mass shootings] Shattered families and entire communities,” Sarah Bird-Sharp, senior director of research at the advocacy nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety, told USA Today.
What is considered a mass shooting? How many mass shootings happen every year? Here’s what you need to know.
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What is considered a mass shooting?
There is no single consensus on the definition today.
The Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit research group, defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, not involving the shooter.
Conversely, Everytown currently defines it as a shooting in which four or more people are shot and killed, again excluding the shooter – but Bird-Sharps noted that they could cause four or more injuries in the future. Expanding the definition to include
The Federal Bureau of Investigation does not have a mass shooting definition. Instead, the FBI defines “mass murder” as an incident where four or more people are killed, which may involve gun violence.
USA Today defines a mass shooting as an incident where at least four people are killed by gunfire, even though no deaths have occurred. A mass murder is an incident in which at least four people are killed.
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Executive Director Mark Bryant said the Gun Violence Archive’s definition of mass shooting includes people who are injured because injuries cost families “extremely”.
Bryant also said that it is important to remember that “the word ‘mass’ is a word of quantity, it is a measure of quantity. That’s all, there is no political caveat in it.”
Bird-Sharps recognizes that the differing definitions can be confusing to the general public, but stresses that, “It doesn’t matter how you define it, whether it’s an average of 20 years.” Or be practically averaging with four plus shots a day. Shots, either one is too many.”
Are mass shootings the deadliest type of gun violence?
Bryant notes that mass shootings account for only a fraction of gun violence crises.
In 2021, more than 45,000 people died from gun violence in the United States. According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, 703 people were killed in the mass shootings.
“Mass shootings cover almost 75% of my conversations, my emails, and my questions, [but they] Count for 5% to 6% of my work,” Bryant said. “5% or 6% of all people shot in the past nine years [were shot in mass shootings],
According to Everytown and Bird-Sharps, every year, 1% of gun violence stems from a mass shooting in which four or more people were killed.
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How many mass shootings did the US have in 2022?
Using the Gun Violence Archive’s definition of mass shooting that includes shootings where four or more were injured, a total of 233 mass shootings have been reported so far this year. In 2022, there have been 12 mass shootings in the US with four or more deaths, based on current numbers from the Gun Violence Archive.
According to Everytown, there are an average of 19 mass shootings in the United States that result in four or more shootings each year.
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Which state has the most mass shootings?
According to Everytown Counts, the most mass shootings have been reported in California and Texas in which four or more people were killed. As Bird-Sharps notes, it is important to recognize that these states report the highest numbers due to their large populations.
California and Texas each have reported 30 mass shootings that killed four or more since 2009. Florida was followed by 17.
Does America have the most mass shootings in the world? hard to say for sure
The United States reports higher rates of mass shootings than other countries around the world – but there has been widespread debate about differences in per capita rates and, again, conflicting definitions of mass shootings.
Still, the number of mass shootings in the United States is staggering compared to the rest of the world. For example, a study published in 2022 in the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice looked at mass shootings that killed four or more in the US and 35 other high-income countries. From 1998 to 2019, only five countries had more than two mass shootings. There were 101 in the United States.
Furthermore, the study found that mass shootings in the US accounted for 73 percent of all mass shootings in these countries during this period.
What charges do mass shooters face?
Charges depend on each specific case, but mass shooters often face charges of murder, terrorism and/or hate crime.
For example, Peyton Gendron, the white man who killed 10 black people in a racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket in May, was charged Wednesday with 10 counts of hate-motivated domestic terrorism and first-degree murder.
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Contribution: Associated Press.