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http://washingtonexaminer.com/crime-study-no-rise-in-mass-shootings-despite-media-hype/article/2542118

WASHINGTON SECRETS
Crime study: Handguns, not 'assault rifles,' used in most mass shootings
BY PAUL BEDARD | JANUARY 14, 2014 AT 9:46 AM
TOPICS: WASHINGTON SECRETS GUN CONTROL NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION JOE BIDEN NEWTOWN MEDIA

A new report said: 'People cannot be denied their Second Amendment rights just because they look strange.' AP Photo
All the guns used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting by Adam Lanza were legally...
Media hype about mass shootings in America has fostered a myth that the killings are on the rise and that an assault weapon ban, expanded background checks and greater attention to the mentally ill will curb a rampaging epidemic, according to an authoritative and exhaustive study by a noted criminologist.

Instead, according to James Alan Fox, author and criminology professor at Northeastern University, mass shootings have remained stagnant over 34 years, averaging 20 a year, and few were committed by the type of berserk psychos portrayed by the media.

"Public discourse is grounded in myth and misunderstanding about the nature of the offense and those who perpetrate it," he writes in the journal "Homicide Studies." He added: "Without minimizing the pain and suffering of the hundreds of those who have been victimized in recent attacks, the facts clearly say that there has been no increase in mass shootings and certainly no epidemic."

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The study debunks several proposals aired from President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting aimed at stopping mass killings. While he said any plan is worth trying, he concluded that short of abolishing the Second Amendment, there is little that can be done.

"Mass murder just may be a price we pay for living in a society where personal freedom is so highly valued," he wrote in the study coauthored Northeastern criminology student Monica DeLateur.

They reviewed years of mass shootings and found that most shooters are not the crazed killers pictured on TV: Most are seeking revenge and practice their crime, like the two Columbine, Colo., killers.

"The rarest form of mass murder is the completely random attack," said the study, "Mass Shootings in America: Moving Beyond Newtown."

He addressed 10 myths fostered by the press. Key among them:

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.