Saturday, January 04, 2014

A Medal for Jennifer

I have to admire Jennifer Mascia who compiles and writes the Gun Report for the Joe Nocera blog in the New York Times.  Can you imagine how difficult it is to read about senseless killings day after day after day, and mentally accumulating all that fear, pain, and heartbreak.  She should get a Congressional Medal.  Here is her report for January 3, 2014.

Mass shootings have tripled in recent years, from five a year between 2000 and 2008 to 16 a year from 2009 to 2012, according to a new study obtained by Yahoo! News yesterday. The authors, who are from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University, define mass shootings as incidents where a gunman opens fire in a public place with the motivation of killing many.

The report, which is set for release in an F.B.I. bulletin next week, also sheds some light on who is committing these shootings. Among the findings:

• 94 percent of the gunmen are men. The youngest was 13 and the oldest was 88.

• Shootings most often take place at businesses (40 percent), followed by schools (29 percent), and outdoors (19 percent).

• Despite the rapid police response time, nearly half the active shootings are over before officers arrive.

• The shootings claim, on average, two lives.

In response to the increased frequency of such events, the F.B.I. is changing protocol. Previously, police officers were instructed to wait for a SWAT team before apprehending active shooters. Now, the F.B.I. is instructing police how to respond themselves.

Here is today’s report.

—Jennifer Mascia

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