Criminal justice expert Pete Blair, from the Texas State University, revealed data from a recent study confirming mass shootings in the United States are steadily on the rise and that putting more guns into civilian hands is doing nothing to deter them. The data exposes flaws in the National Rifle Association’s “good guy with a gun” pitch, where the association claims that arming more civilians is the “only way” to stop mass shootings from occurring.
Blair’s research, set to be published in July 2013, states that of the mass shootings that occurred through 2000-2010, many of the attackers were heavily armed. Data also shows that non-gang related public shootings, also known as “active shooter events” (ASEs), have been spiking over the last four years (2009-2012), ironically during the same four years that over 100 state laws were passed to make it easier for civilians to obtain, carry, and conceal a firearm.
Mother Jones conducted a similar study with comparable results. Blair’s study found that at least 41 percent of mass shooters carried an arsenal of weapons, whereas the study by Mother Jones found that more than half of attackers used assault weapons and high-capacity magazines during shootings.
Nevertheless, Blair’s research uncovered an important fact: out of the 84 mass shootings the study reviewed, only 3 cases involved an individual using a firearm to stop a shooter. Furthermore, the three individuals involved in these cases were not just everyday civilians: two were off-duty police officers and one was a former U.S. Marine.
With the debate on gun control heating up, Blair’s compelling data could prove a major roadblock to the NRA’s proposed strategy for counteracting the rise in shootings.
Krysta Loera is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.