Newspaper article

Mayors' Report on Mass Shootings Is Grim but Essential Reading

Newspaper article

Mayors' Report on Mass Shootings Is Grim but Essential Reading

Article excerpt

Nationally, there have been 43 mass shootings in 25 states over the past four years (January 2009 - January 2013), which tragically equates to almost one per month, according to a report released Friday by Mayors Against Illegal Firearms.

The details about those shootings -- the number of people killed and injured as well as information about the shooter, the guns and ammunition used, and where the gun was purchased -- reveal, as the report notes, "a different portrait of mass shootings in America than conventional wisdom might suggest."

Mayors Against Illegal Firearms is a gun-control advocacy group composed of more than 850 mayors, including four from Minnesota: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Duluth Mayor Don Ness and Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom. On Sunday, the group ran a short Super Bowl ad calling for background checks for all gun purchases.

For the report released Friday, the group examined FBI data and media reports on all mass shootings over the past four years. The FBI definition of "mass shooting" is a shooting in which four or more people are murdered. Here is what the report found:

* Mass shootings represent a small share of total U.S. firearm homicides. Less than one percent of gun murder victims recorded by the FBI in 2010 were killed in incidents with four or more victims.

* Assault weapons or high-capacity magazines were used in at least 12 of the incidents (28%). These incidents resulted in an average of 15.6 total people shot -- 123% more people shot than in other incidents (7.0) and 8.3 deaths -- 54% more deaths than in other incidents (5.4).

* There was a noteworthy connection between mass shooting incidents and domestic violence. In at least 17 of the cases (40%), the shooter killed a current or former spouse or intimate partner, and at least 6 of those shooters had a prior domestic violence charge.

* We did not find evidence that any of the shooters were prohibited from possessing guns by federal law because they had been adjudicated mentally ill or involuntarily committed for treatment. …

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