Thursday, June 26, 2014

OP/ED BYTE: Pittsburgh Tribune Review: There's no epidemic of mass shootings

OP/ED BYTE: June 22, 2014: The debate about firearms and mental health can't make K-12 schools or college campuses safer if it's based on false premises — including the notion of a mass-shooting epidemic.  Writing for The American Spectator, Josh Blackman, a South Texas College of Law assistant professor, notes that mass shootings — involving four or more murders — were just 0.02 percent of total homicide incidents from 2002 to 2011, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. In fact, the mass-shooting rate — about two of every 10,000 homicide incidents — has been steady for nearly four decades. Criminologist James Alan Fox says mass shootings account for only about 1 percent of campus murders. And the probability of homicide or suicide killing a K-12 student in school was less than one in 1 million from 1992 to 1994, a little more than one in 2 million from 1994 to 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But people's tendencies obscure such stats.  [Pittsburgh Tribune Review: There's no epidemic of mass shootings]