The 1 Crazy Thing Most Deadly Mass Shootings Have in Common


The entire country is in mourning. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The 1 Crazy Thing Most Deadly Mass Shootings Have in Common

You mayِ beِ pro gun control, butِ there’s oneِ thing forِ sure — thereِ areِ far tooِ manyِ deadly mass shootings, especiallyِ in theِ U.S.
Whether you’re a concert-goer orِ you haveِ grandchildren inِ grade school, itِ really seemsِ asِ if nowhereِ isِ safe.
Is thereِ anythingِ we canِ do toِ prevent theseِ deadly situations beforeِ they begin.

The number of yearly shootings is staggering

With theِ recentِ shooting inِ Las Vegas called theِ “deadliest shooting inِ modern U.S.
history,” 2017 isِ on track toِ haveِ the mostِ mass shootings everِ in theِ country.
HuffPost explains inِ 2016, thereِ were 384 mass shootings.

Gun violence has been a hot topic in America. | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Now, let’s take a look at the link that ties all of them.

Next: Many shooters exhibit the same type of behavior.

Mass shooters show violent or antisocial behavior beforehand …

It’s tough toِ imagine whatِ a mass shooter wasِ likeِ beforeِ their violent crime.
And theِ vast majority ofِ perpetrators show scary behavior beforeِ they everِ get theirِ hands onِ a gun, The Washington Post notes.
Hodgkinson, heِ threatened hisِ family, punched hisِ neighbor, andِ lived anِ isolated life outِ ofِ a van.

Next: Here’s how they manage to get their hands on weaponry.

Gun laws aren’t strict in all states. | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

… but they typically don’t have a problem buying a gun

While manyِ of thoseِ who commit mass shootings buy theirِ guns illegally, mostِ of themِ would alsoِ pass forِ a legal sale ofِ a gun ifِ they wentِ thatِ route.
And The Washington Post evenِ notes mostِ of theseِ mass shootings areِ carried outِ byِ legally-obtained handguns.
It’s important toِ note whileِ mass shootings areِ scary andِ get a lot ofِ media attention, mostِ people involved inِ a gun violence scenario don’t die thisِ way.

Next: Here’s what the shooter typically looks like.

The shooters are usually white men

Dylann Roof’s actions shocked and upset the nation. | AP/NY Post

You mayِ haveِ your ownِ image ofِ what a cold-blooded shooter looksِ like, butِ in theِ U.S., there’s actuallyِ not thatِ muchِ diversity.
Vice reports since 1982, aroundِ 63% ofِ the mass shooters haveِ beenِ white men.
Though theirِ motives mayِ differ, theِ age, gender, andِ race ofِ those whoِ carry outِ these acts stays pretty uniform.

Next: The average age of the shooters may surprise you.

And they fall into the same age group

Most mass shooters inِ the U.S.
Most ofِ them areِ in theirِ 20s toِ early 40s, thoughِ ofِ course, thereِ areِ some outliers thatِ don’t fit theِ common profile.
Vice explains FBI arrest data shows thoseِ betweenِ the ages ofِ 16 andِ 24 areِ most likelyِ to commit violent crime.

Something many mass shooters have in common. | Getty Images

Next: This is the one commonality all mass shootings have in common.

The one commonality: The shooter is down on their luck

Even forِ shooters thatِ don’t fit theِ typical demographic, there’s oneِ commonality that’s consistent withِ most, ifِ not allِ of them.
They’re usuallyِ notِ succeeding inِ anyِ one particularِ area ofِ their life, whetherِ that’s theirِ career, home life, orِ friendships.
This downward spiral canِ beِ especially difficult forِ younger males toِ deal with.

Next: Are violent video games really to blame?

Violent media plays a part — but it’s not everything

Even forِ trained experts, it’s tough toِ identify whoِ isِ capable ofِ murder.
And theِ debate ofِ whether violent media canِ influence someoneِ enoughِ to kill hasِ beenِ thrown aroundِ for manyِ years.
The publication talked toِ someoneِ referred toِ asِ “Jack,” whoِ showed upِ toِ hisِ school withِ twoِ loaded shotguns, ready forِ a mass shooting.

Next: Not all killers are secretive before their murders.

They might even tell someone their plans beforehand

Mass shootings comeِ with a lot ofِ shock — andِ even close family orِ friends ofِ the shooter oftenِ show surprise andِ outrage atِ the events. But Scientific American saysِ afterِ studying 119 cases ofِ “lone-wolf” terrorists — thatِ is, thoseِ who acted alone — overِ 60% ofِ them actuallyِ told someoneِ close toِ themِ ofِ their plans. And overِ 80% ofِ the cases foundِ people aroundِ the mass shooter knew ofِ their anger andِ resentment beforeِ the attack.

Next: Here’s the difference between shootings in the U.S. and abroad.

And they typically have more than one gun to carry out their plan with

Mass shootings happen allِ over theِ world, butِ the onesِ inِ the U.S. CNN saysِ inِ over halfِ the cases inِ the states, theِ shooter hadِ more thanِ oneِ gun. Overseas, mass shootings oftenِ involve justِ one firearm.

Next: Are all mass shooters mentally ill? 

Mental illness doesn’t always play a part

It mightِ seem likeِ allِ mass shooters areِ mentally ill, butِ that’s notِ necessarily theِ case. The Washington Post notes mostِ of thoseِ who goِ on toِ becomeِ mass shooters areِ mentally fit toِ purchase a weapon. While theyِ mayِ show signs ofِ anger, that’s notِ enoughِ to keepِ them awayِ from weaponry.

Next: Most shootings occur in these shocking situations.

The shootings are usually linked to family or domestic violence

The findings areِ clear onِ this oneِ — mostِ mass shootings areِ related toِ domestic orِ family violence. Everytown For Gun Safety saysِ inِ 54% ofِ studied shootings, theِ shooter fired atِ either a family member orِ their romantic partner. In manyِ domestic violence situations, theِ abused person reports theِ abuser hasِ threatened themِ with a gun prior toِ a shooting.

Next: The ripple effect of shootings is real.

One mass shooting may trigger another

Here’s a scary thought — theِ moreِ mass shootings occur, theِ moreِ there mayِ beِ in theِ future. The Atlantic explains it’s well-documented howِ one instance ofِ this canِ inspire anotherِ potential shooter. The man whoِ shot andِ killed students atِ Umpqua Community College inِ Oregon a fewِ years agoِ is a good exampleِ of this.

Next: Can a shooter ever recover? 

Those who commit shootings aren’t always doomed forever

Many mass shooters commit suicide atِ the scene, butِ there mayِ some hope forِ survivors. As Cracked notes, “Jack,” theِ almost-shooter whoِ brought weapons toِ hisِ school, surrendered atِ the scene. He wentِ toِ a youth correctional facility atِ the time, butِ now hasِ a child andِ a job.

Next: Here’s what must be done to prevent future shootings.

Preventing a mass shooting: Can it be done?

A writer forِ The New York Times hasِ a fewِ ideas, including imposing universal background checks, refusing gun sales toِ anyoneِ under theِ age ofِ 21, andِ banning gun sales toِ anyoneِ with a domestic violence protection order. There’s alsoِ the idea ofِ “bullet control,” whichِ will stop online bullet sales andِ regulate store sales. And manyِ think gun shows andِ the purchase ofِ guns online shouldِ alsoِ go awayِ completely.

Next: This is the absolute best first defense to prevent these horrific crimes.

Bystanders may be the key

Better gun regulations mayِ help, butِ there’s stillِ a missing piece — andِ that’s howِ to helpِ the person willingِ toِ shoot. In thisِ case, Scientific American notes bystanders areِ a great firstِ defense. Bystanders mayِ fear theirِ involvement orِ their safety ifِ they report suspicious behavior.