With the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, many are left with questions about what leads to this and similar tragedies throughout the U.S. While some have theorized about the common personality traits of mass murderers, the frequency of these incidents, and the policy that can stop them, such speculation has led to many myths and misconceptions. New research published in Homicide Studies finds that public policy based on these myths has a limited possibility of decreasing the rate of mass murders and that more drastic measures should be taken to have real success.
"Many of the well-intentioned proposals coming in response to the recent spike in mass shootings may do much to impact the level of violent crime that plagues our nation daily," the researchers stated. "We shouldn't, however, expect such efforts to take a big bite out of crime in its most extreme form."
Researchers James Alan Fox and Monica J. DeLateur analyzed research and important statistics to debunk 11 common myths surrounding mass shootings including:
While the researchers debunk these myths in their research, they state that only more drastic policy would lead to real solutions:
"Taking a nibble out of the risk of mass murder, however small, would still be a worthy goal for the nation," the authors stated.
"However … eliminating the risk of mass murder would involve extreme steps that we are unable or unwilling to take -- abolishing the Second Amendment, achieving full employment, restoring our sense of community, and rounding up anyone who looks or acts at all suspicious. Mass murder just may be a price we must pay for living in a society where personal freedom is so highly valued."
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