Violent Crime Is Down? Mass Shootings Buck Criminology Theories
As homicides decline, rate of mass shootings more difficult to track
The U.S. has become a less violent country, compared to two decades ago.
(Sure, tell that to residents of Chicago, Oakland, Calif. and Philadelphia!)
The homicide rate has been cut in half, to a level not seen since the early 1960s, the Washington Post reports.
Of course, the renewed focus on violent crime in America stems from the mass shooting last weekend in Aurora, Colo., which left 12 dead and 38 wounded.
Criminologists say mass shootings are tougher to track than the homicide rate.
[ALSO READ: Theater Violence An Urban Familiarity]
From the WaPo report:
The statistics on mass murder suggest it is a phenomenon that does not track with other types of violent crime, such as street violence. It does not seem to be affected by the economy or by law enforcement strategies. The mass murderer has become almost a stock figure in American culture, someone bent on overkill — and, so often, seemingly coming out of nowhere.
The United States experienced 645 mass-murder events — killings with at least four victims — between 1976 and 2010, according to Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox. When graphed, these incidents show no obvious trend. The numbers go up and down and up again. The total body count: 2,949.
To read more of the Post’s feature on mass shootings, click here.