An updated study from the Crime Prevention Research Center has found that, contrary to former President Barack Obama and the rest of the mainstream media, mass public shootings occur at much higher rates in countries outside the U.S. and these rates have been increasing in recent years.
“One of the most frequent claims we hear in the gun control debate is that the United States is somehow unique in terms of mass public shootings,” Dr. John Lott, founder of the CPRC, told One America News Network. “But rather than being above the world average, we’re dramatically below the world average.”
The study found that while the United States makes up about 4.6 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. makes up less than 1.15 percent of the mass public shooters, 1.49 percent of their murders, and 2.20 percent of their attacks. Out of the 97 countries where the CPRC identified mass public shootings occurring, the United States ranks 64th in the per capita frequency of these attacks and 65th in the murder rate.
The countries that rank higher than the U.S. aren’t just those that exist in war-torn, “non-advanced” regions, to use President Obama’s term. The study found that Norway, Finland, France, Switzerland, and Russia all have at least 25 percent higher per capita murder rates from mass public shootings than the US.
In total, over the 18 years from 1998 to 2015, the CPRC found 2,354 attacks and at least 4,880 shooters outside the United States. Meanwhile, the U.S. accounted for only 53 attacks and 57 shooters.
Also contrary to the popular narrative, the frequency of mass public shootings in the rest of the world is rising at a much higher rate than in the U.S.
The CPRC study used the FBI’s definition of “mass public shootings,” which only accounts for massacres of four or more people that take place in commercial areas, schools and colleges, open spaces, government properties, houses of worship, and healthcare facilities. The definition excludes shootings that resulted from gang or drug violence, occurred in the commission of another ongoing crime such as robbery, or arose primarily from self-defense.
The University of Maryland Global Terrorism Database (GTD) provided the primary source for the study. Researchers used Nexis and web searches to confirm any of the incidents on the GTD that met the criteria for mass public shooting. The CPRC team also found many incidents using Nexis and web searches that weren’t listed in the GTD.