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Where Mass Shootings Happen

It's tempting to try to find a link between sites of mass shootings, but data shows they happen in all types of American communities.
March 7, 2018, 5am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Katherine Welles

Mass shootings in America often have familiar elements. "Once again, the shooter was white, male, and socially isolated. And in keeping with a number of deadly mass shootings in the past, this one took place in an affluent suburban community not unlike Newtown, Connecticut (where the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting happened), or Columbine, Colorado," Richard Florida and Alastair Boone write for CityLab. From 1982 until today, 96 percent of mass shooters in the United States have been male, according to data from Mother Jones. "But while there seems to be a profile of a typical mass shooter, we have far less information on the kinds of communities that have fallen victim to these tragic events," Florida and Boone write.

Researchers found that rural and urban communities both suffer from these tragedies. They strike people of every demographic group, regardless of income of ethnicity. "Since 1971, mass shootings have occurred in largely white communities such as Salisbury, Pennsylvania; Platt, South Dakota; and Chelsea, Michigan; and in places that are heavily non-white, such as Detroit and Honolulu," Florida and Boone report.

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Published on Thursday, March 1, 2018 in CityLab
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