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Study: Mass Shootings Are a ‘Uniquely American Problem’

A new study found that for the last two decades, 73 percent of mass shootings around the world have taken place in the United States.

“Mass shootings are a uniquely American problem, particularly in relation to other developed countries,” said Dr. Jason R. Silva, an assistant professor at William Paterson University, in a press release.

For the study, Silva define mass shootings as “a public incident where there are four or more deaths and victims, chosen indiscriminately by the shooter.” Between 1998 and 2019, the U.S. reported 101 attacks and 816 deaths from mass shootings. The country with the second highest mass shootings was France, with just eight mass shootings and 179 deaths.

The study found that of 36 developed countries, 18 have not experienced mass shootings in the past two decades. Only five countries had more than two mass shooting events.

Silva studied both the frequency of mass shootings as well as who is most likely to carry out a mass shooting. He hopes the research can help shape and inform policies for gun reform.

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“In the wake of three shootings in Finland between 2007-2009, the Finnish government issued new firearm guidelines for handguns and revolvers, which were the primary firearms during these attacks,” Silva said as an example. “Applicants for handgun licenses are now required to be active members of a gun club and vetted by their doctor and police.”

Recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, have raised questions about what can be done to stop these shootings in the U.S. .Nearly half of all Republicans think mass shootings are just a way of life, but activists have been speaking up about gun control. Most recently, Matthew McConaughey, a Uvalde native, shared how American’s can take “gun responsibility” more seriously.

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