Most School Shootings Aren’t Mass Killings, Study Finds

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by AOL.

Many Americans think of school shootings as mass casualty events involving an adolescent with an assault-style weapon. But a new study says that most recent school shootings orchestrated by teenagers do not fit that image — and they are often related to community violence.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, analyzed 253 school shootings carried out by 262 adolescents in the US between 1990 and 2016.

It found that these adolescents were responsible for only a handful of mass casualty shootings, defined as those involving four or more gunshot fatalities. About half of the shootings analyzed — 119 — involved at least one death. Among the events, seven killed four or more people.

A majority of the shootings analyzed also involved handguns rather than assault rifles or shotguns, and they were often the result of “interpersonal disputes,” according to researchers from the University of South Carolina and the University of Florida.

“When you look at gun violence across the country, a big subset of that is suicide and community violence, which is largely committed by the use of handguns, not assault rifles and so on,” said Dr. Chethan Sathya, a pediatric surgeon and trauma director at Cohen Children’s Medical Center and director of the Center for Gun Violence Prevention at Northwell Health.

An overwhelming majority of the 262 adolescent shooters were male, with an average age of 16. But unlike many of the school shootings that make headlines, Sathya said, nearly 60% of the shooters in the study were Black. About 28% were White, and 8% were Latino. Another 5.7% represented other racial or ethnic groups, including Asian or Pacific Islander and indigenous peoples of the Americas.

More than half of the shooters got the firearm they used from a family member or a relative. About 30% got a weapon from the illegal market, while 22% obtained weapons from friends or acquaintances.

Source: AOL

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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