In Episode 69 David interviews professor Adam Lankford who recently published research, at an American Sociological Society conference, showing that the strongest factor that he studied that correlates with the number of mass shootings in a country is the rate of civilian gun ownership. David and Adam talk about whether mass shootings are important, as they represent only a small fraction of total gun deaths, and what some of the characteristics of gun shooters are, compared to other murderers, and how they differ between the US and other countries.
Some of the surprising statistics is that mass shooters are almost all male, whereas a small but significant fraction of other gun murders are by women. Mass shooters in the US on average kill fewer people, perhaps because of faster and more effective police response. Mass shooters outside the US are more likely to target military facilities, whereas American mass shooters are more likely to target civilian areas, such as schools, shopping malls and movie theaters. Mass shooters do tend to be loners, and they often focus their feelings of despair on a specific group, but this targeting does not appear to be the main reason for their violence.
Professor Adam Lankford’s website is: http://adamlankford.com