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National Institute of Justice Funded Research Amasses Details of a Half Century of United States Mass Shootings

The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice (NIJ) today published an article discussing the NIJ-supported and publicly available Violence Project Database that identifies common traits of persons who engaged in mass shootings between 1966 and 2019. During that time, mass shootings in the United States notably increased, with more than half occurring after 2000, and 20% occurring during the last five years of the study period. The death toll in mass shootings in the last decade has grown dramatically. In the 1970s, mass shootings claimed an average of eight lives per year. From 2010 to 2019, the average was 51 deaths per year. “This study — one of the most extensive assessments of mass violence to date—reveals a deeply unsettling trend: more Americans are dying at the hands of mass shooters than at any point in recent history,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon. “This analysis paints a portrait of shooters, giving us a better idea of who commits these crimes and helping us detect the warning signals for these appalling acts of violence.” The database draws information exclusively from open sources, such as social media sites and online newspapers, in order to build a […]

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