Northeastern U Study: Mass Shootings Not an Epidemic, Was Worse in 90s

A new study from Northeastern University found that schools are safer now than they were in the 90's.

Northeastern University just released a paper examining the frequency of mass shootings.

Despite the tragedies in Las Vegas and most recently in Florida, James Alan Fox— the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern— concluded mass shootings aren't an epidemic as some gun control groups are suggesting.

Despite these findings, this doesn't mitigate the importance of preventing mass shootings. We all agree there are preventative measures to take to stop future mass shootings, so long as the negligent actions taken in Broward County aren't replicated elsewhere.

“There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” he said.

“The thing to remember is that these are extremely rare events, and no matter what you can come up with to prevent it, the shooter will have a workaround,” Fox added.

Despite the results of his findings, Fox says some policy changes like banning bump stocks and increasing age for purchasing AR-15s from 18-to-21 could decrease overall gun violence. However, he believes even these measures won't stop future mass shootings.

With respect to arming teachers, however, Fox found that notion to be "over the top."

“I’m not a big fan of making schools look like fortresses, because they send a message to kids that the bad guy is coming for you—if we’re surrounding you with security, you must have a bull’s-eye on your back,” Fox said. “That can actually instill fear, not relieve it.”

While many of us will disagree with Professor Fox about whether or not teachers should arm themselves if offered the choice, his findings are worth considering. Even those who aren't avowed gun rights advocates recognize the shortcomings of gun control legislation to stop future mass shootings, given the criminal nature of those who commit these heinous acts.

Comments
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Michael Darwin
Michael Darwin

This is the Summer of the Shark phenomenon. Back in 2001 (before 9/11 wiped them from the headlines), shark attacks were all the rage on cable news. The election was over, and I guess they had to find something to fill up the 24 hour news cycle. Everyone was convinced that shark attacks were on the increase because of the coverage, but the actual number of attacks were down. Of course, this was before sharks started carrying AR-15's.

ekay
ekay

I agree with you. The reason we think mass shooting are more prevalent is most likely quicker reporting. mass media coverage, and all of the people with ability to take pictures and movies on their cell phones.

22113682
22113682

"Gun-free Zones" are deadly. And totally Bunkem. My brother who's a retired law enforcement officer refers to them (correctly) as "Victim Assembly Points." They are an open invitation to people who want to shoot up the place (whatever it is),

RussG
RussG

While I don't think teachers should be "required" to have concealed weapons at school, they should be allowed to carry if properly trained. Some sheriff's are offering free training, which includes the proper defensive procedures to be taken in the event of an attack. The removal of "Gun free zone" signs is a must. the attacker should never have the assurance of the absence of guns.

DrJeffreyP
DrJeffreyP

Fox is usually more right than wrong, although often overlooked by those not in academe.

That said, if he's right about what it says to students, then doesn't it say the same thing to travelers, especially air travelers?