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FBI data shows an increase in active shooter situations, most happen in “commerce” areas

Suncoast reaction to Texas school shooting and issue of guns.
Suncoast reaction to Texas school shooting and issue of guns.(WWSB)
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 8:10 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A new report from the FBI said most active shooter situations during 2021 happened in “commerce” areas like shopping malls or grocery stores.

The report, which was published the day before a shooting at a Texas primary school killed 19 children and two teachers, shows trends in active shooter incidents in the United States in 2021. Those trends include a 52.5% increase from 2020 to 2021.

The data shows 60 of 61 shooters were males, about half happened at places of “commerce” like a shopping mall or supermarket and about 65% happened between the hours of 6 am to 6 pm.

FBI data shows 1 out of 5 active shooter incidents happened in a school during the period from 2000 to 2018. About 44% of those incidents happened in commerce areas.

There is no standard definition for a mass shooting, according to researchers. The FBI’s definition is more narrow than other groups tracking mass shootings in the United States. The agency uses the shooting’s location, circumstances, targets, and amount of people killed when classifying a shooting as an active shooter incident.

Data from the University of Washington shows the United States is an outlier with much higher gun violence rates than other developed countries, like Canada or much of Europe. Countries in more developing countries like El Salvador, Venezuela, Guatemala, Columbia, and Honduras have higher gun violence numbers than the United States.

91% of all children aged 0 to 14-years-old who were killed by firearms were in the United States, according to a 2015 study in The American Journal of Medicine. A 2016 study found the United States and other countries with higher firearm ownership rates may be particularly susceptible to future public mass shootings.

Researchers also said gun access matters when dealing with mental health issues using suicide as an example. The Centers for Disease Control said a firearm is used in more than half of suicide attempts in 2020. A 2001 survey found about a quarter of those who survived a suicide attempt made the decision to try within five minutes, which means the method that they have in front of them is critical.

States with high levels of household gun ownership are likely to experience higher youth suicide rates, according to a 2019 study published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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