Orlando, June 12: The US has a tragic history of mass shootings; in fact, the world's oldest democracy has seen more mass shootings than any other country in the world, a new study has revealed, reported the CNN. [50 dead in Florida nightclub shooting]
The US has seen 90 mass shootings between 1966 and 2012 and they have occurred in public places like schools and theatres, the CNN report said. Mass shootings have been defined as incidents that see four or more victims and don't include gang killings involving the death of a number of family members. [Hillary, Trump react to mass shooting]
The 90 mass shootings constitute nearly a third of the 292 such attacks that happened across the globe. It means with just five per cent of the world's population, the US has been witness to 31 per cent of all public mass shootings, the CNN said. [President Obama calls it "act of terror"]
The 90 U.S. mass shootings are nearly a third of the 292 such attacks globally for that period. While the US has 5% of the world's population, it had 31% of all public mass shootings.
With 5% of world population, US has seen 31% of mass shootings between 1966-2012
Adam Lankford, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama who did a first-of-its kind analysis on the mass shootings in the US, told the CNN that people have been taken by surprise by the statistics related to the tragic phenomenon.
How US mass shootings are different
Lankford, who went through each incident, found factors that made the US mass killings different from those that happened in other parts of the world, the report added.
He said the possibility of casualties in mass shootings in the US is higher if the victims are at work or at school. In other countries, such instances happen mainly in military zones.
Also, in most US shootings, the assassin is found carrying more than one firearm. In other instances, the shooter had only one weapon.
The number of victims on average per incident of mass shooting in the US is also high (6.87) while in another 171 nations that Lankford analysed, the average number of victims was 8.8. The lesser number of casualties in the US is lesser because the police of that country are better trained to deal with just incidents compared to their counterparts elsewhere, the professor said.
Data have suggested that many shooters in the US were mentally ill while other studies showed that the estimated number of cases of mental sickness hasn't risen alarmingly even as mass shootings have gone up.
Another analysis said attacks at public places occurred every 64 days on an average, between 2011 and 2014, the CNN reported. In the last three decades, the frequency rate was 200 days on an average. Though the overall rate of homicide and gun violence in the US have reduced significantly over the last 20 years, the report cited.
Some other analysts feel that such crimes could have a contagious effect. The easy accessibility of guns in the US make imitating the phenomenon there easier, said Lankford.