Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(7,981 posts)
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 04:03 PM Jan 2014

'Active shooter' incidents rising nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Lakim Faust dressed himself in black one Friday in June, grabbed a pistol-grip shotgun and 100 rounds of ammunition and walked out the door of his apartment in Greenville, N.C. with one intention - to shoot and kill a large number of people.

The 23-year-old gunman shot his first victim, an insurance adjuster sitting in a parked car, before calmly walking across the street and shooting three others in a Wal-Mart parking lot, according to local police reports. Eventually the police shot and subdued the gunman.

Because no one died in the rampage, this incident was not classified as a mass killing and likely would have escaped deeper scrutiny. But after last year's attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killed 20 students and six staff members, the FBI began studying events like these to develop new ways to respond and save lives.

Active shooters are defined by the FBI as gunmen who arrive on the scene with the specific intent to commit mass murder. Unlike other mass killings or mass shootings, this sub-set does not include incidents such as bank robberies or drug deals that may turn lethal.

13 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies


(17,502 posts)
1. not quite
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 04:12 PM
Jan 2014
"I'd be hesitant to declare trends based off a modest number of years and a modest amount of data," said Dr. James Alan Fox of Northeastern University, an expert in mass shootings who served on President Clinton's advisory panel on school shootings. Fox warns that researchers may have a difficult time finding older cases. "The question is in 2003, are you sure that all those cases that would today be called active shooters would have been locatable," said Fox. According to Fox's own research, the number of "mass killings" has stayed relatively flat over the last 35 years.

If it exists, most likely copy cat effect.





(16,974 posts)
3. You beat me to that quote
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 04:26 PM
Jan 2014

The OP seems to be doing a lot of drive by posting hoping to get some kind of a rise and is failing. Would be nice if they would at least comment on the story they are posting and linking to.

I agree with the copy cat thing, big publicity and using the shooters name is what they are looking for. When that no longer happens these will stop.



(68,644 posts)
4. Further, mass shootings since 1976 are on the decline, esp. if you adjust for population growth.
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 04:37 PM
Jan 2014

Let me preface this by repeating that I want to see a host of measures to reduce violence in America, including sensible gun control legislation, most of California's laws applied nationally.

And, this new term "active shooter", was it invented just to create a statistical category that could be claimed to be of growing concern, as is often done with damned statistics?


I was reading applegrove's interesting post in the other group: http://www.democraticunderground.com/12625349

And attached to the source article was this graph of "mass shooting" incidents and number of victims by year from 1976 through 2010.

I was thinking that it seems to be mostly flat with maybe a bit of an upward trend and then it struck me.

That graph doesn't take into account the growth in population over that time frame; it's not per capital, it's just raw overall data.

In 2010 there were 40% more citizens than in 1976 but guess what? The shooting incidents numbers haven't risen by 40%-- they haven't risen at all, and the number of victims has risen only slightly.

Adjusted for population growth or measured per-capita, the number of incidents and victims of mass shootings, then, has fallen by as much as 40%.

If I'm statistically wrong, and I'm pretty sure I'm not, please feel free to refute the above.




(16,974 posts)
6. Please do not forget
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 04:55 PM
Jan 2014

the increase in total number of weapons. AR-15 type rifles have been selling well for years and are very rarely used in these.



(68,644 posts)
7. Here's a graphic with number of guns in circulation, 1981-2008, with other data.
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 05:02 PM
Jan 2014

Indeed the number of guns in circulation has grown, along with population, yet fewer crimes and gun related deaths. Substantially fewer!


(17,502 posts)
9. Thanks
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 05:11 PM
Jan 2014

I would also like to see less violence in the US, but I don't think gun control, sensible or otherwise, will do anything about it mostly because it affects the people who are not the problem.
It is like the mental health red herring. It started off with Wayne La Pierre scapegoating, with his resgistry, the least violent, least political powerful (along with ill defined) group of our country, now the antis jumped on his bandwagon.
Sensible is a meaningless term. Tasmania's licensing and registration (Australia has a federal system similar to ours) system did nothing to prevent Port Author. The killer did not have a license and one of the rifles was stolen from a police evidence locker. There have been mass murders since then. New Zealand also had mass shooting during that same ten year period, did nothing, and had the same result as Australia.

More effective would be:
end zoning ordnances that prevent walkable communities including to well paying jobs and stores that sell real food. After living in Japan and Korea, I noticed that their cities don't have the same flight to the suburbs.
End drug prohibition, addiction is a public health issue, and should not be a criminal issue. Best way to take guns away from the gangs is to take away their money. They didn't have guns before GCA and the WoD even though all they needed was a Sears catalog and a money order. There wasn't that much profit in hot hub caps after school.

raise the min wage and have it adjust for inflation. Add that to pulling out of NAFTA, GATT, and shit can TPP. and put our tariffs back up.
Removing lead from gasoline seems to be the most effective, certainly more effective than any gun law. And social conservatives clutch their pearls when I say, ending corporal punishment. Yes, I am anti spanking.

That isn't to say that I think we should go back to Vermont pre NFA. I do think NFA and other current laws need to be made sensible before we create new ones.



(68,644 posts)
10. Agree with all of the above. It's aggravating, the best solution is truly to address inequity, etc.
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 05:14 PM
Jan 2014

All the things you mention.

And the aggravating part is that they're all progressive ideals, but that ornery contingent won't have any of that because guns.

Happy Saturday.



(16,974 posts)
2. So what do you think about this?
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 04:14 PM
Jan 2014

You have no comments at all it seems.

I think some of these are from our increasing inequality of income and the failure of the bottom 95% to so much if any improvement over the last few years. That and also after the 80s, mental health treatment and the use of prescription drugs has gone up.

Let me quote another part of the same story you seem to have glossed over.

Some respected criminologists caution that the apparent rise in active shooter events, may not in fact be real.

"I'd be hesitant to declare trends based off a modest number of years and a modest amount of data," said Dr. James Alan Fox of Northeastern University, an expert in mass shootings who served on President Clinton's advisory panel on school shootings. Fox warns that researchers may have a difficult time finding older cases. "The question is in 2003, are you sure that all those cases that would today be called active shooters would have been locatable," said Fox. According to Fox's own research, the number of "mass killings" has stayed relatively flat over the last 35 years.


(68,644 posts)
5. Indeed. Here's another graphic covering those 35 years.
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 04:46 PM
Jan 2014

Journalistic integrity, when it comes to certain issues, is embarrassingly absent.

Mass Murder Shooting Is Not Increasing – Piers Morgan and Mother Jones Proven Wrong

Published On: Tue, Sep 17th, 2013
By Matt MacBradaigh

Mass murder shootings are not increasing. Disingenuous media outlets and personalities like Piers Morgan and Mother Jones falsely claim they are. Academic criminologists that study mass murder prove them wrong.

At least 13 people are dead and several others were wounded after a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.. Police have identified the suspect and cleared a possible second one. And while the dead have barely been identified, already the anti-gun talking heads are calling for more gun control. The who’s-who is predictable. Piers Morgan is, once again, claiming that mass shootings are on the rise in the United States. On his twitter feed he cites Mother Jones calling it “incontrovertible proof” that this is so. The Mother Jones page, A Guide to Mass Shootings in America states that the shooting at the Washington Naval Yard is the 5th one in 2013. If accurate (and it’s probably not), then that makes 2013 one of the lowest years for mass shootings since at least 1976 – or 37 years

James Alan Fox, a widely respected criminologist from Northeastern University in Boston who researches mass shootings says that they are not increasing. Dr. Fox’s analysis of the Mother Jones‘ study indicates they left out mass murders which made it seem there was an increase after the Federal assault weapon ban expired (they’ve updated their story since). Some mass murders receive more media attention than others, however the number has been consistently about 20 annually since 1976. Dr Fox states: “What is abundantly clear from the full array of mass shootings, besides the lack of any trend upward or downward, is the largely random variability in the annual counts. There have been several points in time when journalists and others have speculated about a possible epidemic in response to a flurry of high-profile shootings. Yet these speculations have always proven to be incorrect when subsequent years reveal more moderate levels.”

Dr. Fox specifically rebuts Mother Jones findings saying: “So how does the Mother Jones report of a rise in mass shootings stand up when considering the full range of cases? Simply put, not very well.” He uses instead, the academically accepted definition of mass murder set by the FBI, which is defined as: “as a number of murders (four or more) occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders. These events typically involved a single location, where the killer murdered a number of victims in an ongoing incident.

Time Magazine printed a chart of all mass shootings, citing Dr. Fox’s research following the Aurora Colorado, movie theater shooting (see below). The number of mass shootings varies from a low of 7 incidents in 1985, to a high of 30 incidents in 2003 (incidentally, when the federal Assault Weapons Ban was still in effect). The number of dead from these mass murder incidents varies from a low of 29 dead in 1985, coinciding with the lowest shootings – to a high of 135 in 2003, again coinciding with the highest number of shootings. In 2012, it was less than 100.



(18,318 posts)
8. "Mass shooting" is now "Active shooting," but conflated as necessary.
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 05:06 PM
Jan 2014

When myth fails, come up with another.


(15,396 posts)
11. A good reason to acquire an IWI TAVOR.
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 07:31 PM
Jan 2014

@ 26 1/8 inches long this little guy would give you a great self defense package in a short firearm.


(33,982 posts)
13. Having the firing chamber right next to my skull makes me nervous.
Mon Jan 6, 2014, 02:59 PM
Jan 2014

Bad enough to have a kB! on a regular rifle...


(49,445 posts)
12. This is the data to 2006
Sun Jan 5, 2014, 02:00 AM
Jan 2014

I used the least-squares method to make the trend lines in the second and third graphic, which was an interesting intellectual exercise.

Note that about 95% of homicide incidents are single-victim. I put the trend line on this one.

You can see how, after the peak in about 1990, the number of single-victim homicides dropped sharply while the levels of multi-victim homicides remained generally steady. This is almost certainly due to the removal of lead from gasoline, the widespread availability of hormonal and barrier birth control, and the legalization of abortion, all of which occurred about 20 years before the drop.
Latest Discussions»Issue Forums»Gun Control & RKBA»'Active shooter' incident...