January 14, 2014
Media hype about mass shootings in America has fostered a myth that the killings are on the rise and that an assault weapon ban, expanded background checks and greater attention to the mentally ill will curb a rampaging epidemic, according to an authoritative and exhaustive study by a noted criminologist.
Instead, according to James Alan Fox, author and criminology professor at Northeastern University, mass shootings have remained stagnant over 34 years, averaging 20 a year, and few were committed by the type of berserk psychos portrayed by the media.
“Public discourse is grounded in myth and misunderstanding about the nature of the offense and those who perpetrate it,” he writes in the journal “Homicide Studies.” He added: “Without minimizing the pain and suffering of the hundreds of those who have been victimized in recent attacks, the facts clearly say that there has been no increase in mass shootings and certainly no epidemic.”
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