The Washington Post | Wonkblog
Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States
Ezra Klein, Six facts about guns, violence, and gun control, July 23, 2012
Interesting to compare Ezra's latest article with his last, at the time of the Aurora, AZ attack.
Gary Kleck, Guns and Violence: A Summary of the Field, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University, address delivered to the 1991 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association based on his book of the same title.
Data is dated but the analysis is still relevant.
Harvard University Press Blog, Gun Control, Mental Illness, and the Arizona Shootings
In a Salon piece titled “Why Psychiatrists Can't Predict Mass Murderers,” McNally addresses the reasonable urge to make sense of the senseless and to learn from this incident. While many in the media have been recounting Loughner’s troubled past and wondering why authorities seemingly failed, time and again, to take action in ways that could have prevented this tragedy from occurring, McNally explains the difficulty of such intervention:
Let's assume that we've identified a set of characteristics often exhibited by mass murderers. What does that buy us? It enables us to answer the question, “Given that someone is a mass murderer, what characteristics is he likely to exhibit?” That's an interesting question, but it's not the one we want to answer. Rather, the question we really want to answer is, “Given that someone exhibits this profile of characteristics, how likely is he to commit mass murder?” Answering this question is extremely difficult because the predictors are invariably far more common than the event we hope to predict, and mass murder is very rare. Although mass murderers often do exhibit bizarre behavior, most people who exhibit bizarre behavior do not commit mass murder.
Despite the difficulties presented, McNally accepts for science the need to learn from incidents like the Arizona shooting. “The consequences of missing a future mass murderer in our midst are appalling, and the enormity of such a mistake fuels the hope that someday science will overcome the daunting challenge of distinguishing the truly dangerous from the merely odd.”Balkanization
A Thought Experiment
Gerard N. Magliocca | Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Take the test.