Mass Shooting Events Have Tripled Since 2008

It seems like there is another mass shooting every month. Turns out that’s about accurate now, with 15 events recorded in 2012. This past weekend’s shooting in Las Vegas is yet another in a growing epidemic.

Mass shooting events in the United States have tripled since 2008.

That’s according to a study by J. Pete Blair, Ph.D., M. Hunter Martaindale, M.S., and Terry Nichols, M.S. published by the FBI. The FBI defines an Active Shooter Event (ASE) as the following: “one or more persons engaged in killing or attempting to kill multiple people in an area occupied by multiple unrelated individuals—at least one of the victims must be unrelated to the shooter. The primary motive in these incidents appears to be mass murder; that is, the shooting is not a by-product of an attempt to commit another crime. While many gang-related shootings could fall within this category, they were excluded from this study because gang-related shootings are not considered ASEs by law enforcement.”

Without question, the frequency and the death and injury toll is rising rapidly with no sign that the trend will recede.




The shooting in Las Vegas is a unique incident among other mass shootings. Having two shooters and a female involved are both very rare anomalies. Mark Berman of the Washington Post notes thatFBI data indicates 98% of shooters are solo and 97% are male. The shooting also had an unusually marked political motivation.

The causes and remedies for the rise of these types of events are still a matter of debate and discussion, and topics we will address here another time.