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US Why are US mass shootings getting more deadly?

10:25  07 november  2017
10:25  07 november  2017 Source:   bbc.com

Murphy: 'No one is safe' until Congress acts on gun violence

  Murphy: 'No one is safe' until Congress acts on gun violence Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) made an emotional appeal on Sunday for Congress to address gun violence in the wake of the deadly church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas."The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic," Murphy said in a lengthy statement, stressing that time to act "is now.

The number of people killed in US mass shootings has gone up. Analysts have different theories about why . Media captionAfter the Las Vegas attack in October 2017 the BBC looked at how US mass shootings are getting worse. Three of the worst five shootings in modern US history have

The number of people killed in US mass shootings has gone up. Analysts have different theories about why . Media captionAfter the Las Vegas attack in October 2017 the BBC looked at how US mass shootings are getting worse. Three of the worst five shootings in modern US history have

graph © BBC graph

Three of the worst five shootings in modern US history have happened in the last 16 months.

It began - more or less - with 13, the number killed in 1949 in Camden, New Jersey, one of the earliest mass shootings in the US. An army veteran, Howard Unruh, killed his neighbours.

Over the next several decades, the numbers went up: 16 in Austin, Texas, on a campus in 1966, and 21 slain at a McDonald's in San Ysidro, California, in 1984.

The past month or so have been especially brutal, as two attacks unfolded - in Las Vegas (58 dead) and Sutherland Springs, Texas (26). They followed a June 2016 assault in an Orlando nightclub in which 49 people were killed.

Notable Deadly Shootings at Churches in Recent Years

  Notable Deadly Shootings at Churches in Recent Years The mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Tex., came six weeks after a Tennessee church congregation faced an attack.The mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Tex., on Sunday, in which at least 26 people died, was the latest and by far the most deadly shooting at a church in recent years. Here are some notable previous fatal shootings at churches.

GraphThree of the worst five shootings in modern US history have happened in the last 16 months. It began - more or less - with 13, the number killed in

Three of the worst five shootings in modern US history have happened in the last 16 months. It began - more or less - with 13, the number The mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Tex., came six weeks after a Tennessee church congregation faced an attack.The mass

The reasons for this disturbing trend are many and complex, and people across the US and around the world have struggled to understand the violence. Here analysts discuss some of the factors that may lie behind the grim numbers:

Weapons are more powerful - and shoot faster

The shooters have increasingly been using guns with high-capacity magazines, allowing them to fire off dozens of rounds without having to reload.

"There are more people being shot in a shorter amount of time - with more bullets in them," explained Harvard School of Public Health's David Hemenway.

Adam Lanza, who killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, and James Holmes, who killed 12 in Aurora, Colorado, that year, both used weapons with this feature. The data's clear: the number of killings in individual attacks goes up when assault rifles are used.

Obama: May God grant us the wisdom for how we can prevent gun violence

  Obama: May God grant us the wisdom for how we can prevent gun violence Former President Obama called for action on gun violence after the deadly mass shooting at a church in Texas on Sunday. "We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred, and we'll stand with the survivors as they recover," Obama tweeted Sunday."May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst."We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred, and we'll stand with the survivors as they recover...

Many details about the shooting are yet to emerge. The shooter ’s identity has been reported as What is clear is that mass shootings in the United States are getting deadlier . Heartbroken for the victims in Texas and their families. We are not powerless to reduce gun violence in our nation.

Are mass shootings getting more frequent? People in the US are no more likely to be involved in mass shootings now than they were in the 1980s or 90s. That's because the number of mass shootings in the US has risen in line with the increase in population since then.

Researchers have also examined the laws: a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity magazines was passed in 1994. It was lifted in 2004.

Experts said lifting the ban helped to usher in a new era of mass shootings. With these weapons, individuals could shoot faster and for longer periods of time - and consequently were able to kill more people in their attacks.

In addition states have their own laws. After the Sandy Hook massacre, a Connecticut law was passed that banned semiautomatic rifles (or assault weapons, as they're also known).

Other states loosened their gun laws, however. In Georgia, for example, a law was passed that allowed people to carry weapons in school classrooms, nightclubs and other places. Experts at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence wrote that people in states with stricter gun controls tended to see less gun violence.

Assailants choose their sites more carefully

Attacks are now carried out in places with a large number of people - such as a Las Vegas concert venue with 22,000 people. "With that type of crowd, the shooter didn't even have to aim," said University of Central Florida's Jay Corzine.

2 of the 5 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history happened in the last 35 days

  2 of the 5 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history happened in the last 35 days Of the 30 deadliest shootings in the US dating back to 1949, 18 have occurred in the last 10 years. Two of the worst took place in just the last 35 days. Below is a list of the 10 deadliest single-day mass shootings in modern US history. If the shooter was killed or died by suicide during the incident, that death is not included in the total. (Here's an explanation of why we say "modern history").

A lone gunman entered a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and opened fire with a Ruger assault rifle on Sunday morning. The result: 26 people dead—including children as young as five years old—and at least 20 more wounded in what is thought to be the fifth- deadliest mass shooting in

Data show that mass public shootings are roughly as common now as they were in the 1980s and ’90s. What has changed? A mass public shooting , as I’ve defined it in my research, is any incident in which four or more victims are killed with a firearm within a 24-hour period at a public location in the

Most of the people who carry out mass shootings plan the attacks carefully, according to Homicide Studies.

"They're doing their homework," Corzine explained. Preparing the groundwork, he said, means the shooters kill more.

The gunman who opened fire at a Batman screening in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012 "thought a movie theatre would lead to higher fatalities", said the University of Alabama's Adam Lankford.

The shooters are inspired by media accounts

Coverage of mass shootings - like the assaults themselves - have exploded in recent years. Shooters post on social media before the attacks and sometimes while the assaults are underway.

Media organisations create live pages and provide 24/7 coverage of an assault. In addition journalists often focus on the killers, providing details about their lives and unintentionally contributing to a glorification of these individuals.

Yet overall, say experts, the stories did not cause an increase in the number of deaths in the assaults. "I've seen media accounts of mass shootings for the past 25 years, and the uptick of high casualties has been pretty recent," said Corzine. Still the coverage gives people ideas.

"Mass shootings are contagious," said Gary Slutkin, founder of a Chicago-based organisation, Cure Violence. "People see what other people do, and they follow that."

The shooters compete with each other

Dylan Klebold, one of the attackers at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in 1999, described their goal: "the most deaths in U.S. history…we're hoping."

As Lankford explained: "This really is a race for notoriety - to be bigger and better than the attackers who came before you."

Becoming famous as a mass shooter may seem like a sick glory. Yet it holds an allure for some. "It's, 'Well, yeah…,'" Slutkin said, describing how these individuals consider the possibility of fame and spend little time contemplating the likelihood of their own grisly fate: "It isn't all the way thought through."

"We all want to be known after we're dead," he explained.

"It shows how strong that circuit is."

Dem lawmaker calls for study to examine link between domestic violence, mass shootings .
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that if passed would require the Justice Department to conduct a study examining whether there is a correlation between individuals who have a history of domestic violence and mass shooters. "If we look at the recent mass shootings in Sutherland Springs, Orlando, and the Congressional Baseball Game practice, we see a noticeable trend: all these shooters acted alone and had prior history of domestic violence," Quigley said in a statement.

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