Updated information on Mass Public
Shootings from 1998 through October 2023

Gun types, mass murders 1998 -- Oct 2023

Click to view full size

By John R. Lott. Jan 9, 2023

When another shooting happens at a place such as a school or a mall, politicians and the media are apt to claim that many hundreds of mass shootings occur each year. " Over the last year since Uvalde, our country has experienced a staggering 650 mass shootings," President Joe Biden claimed last year. After a shooting in Lewiston, Maine in late October, CNN said that there had already been " 586 mass shootings" that year.

These statements give an incorrect impression that there are massacres every day, like the infamous 2022 Uvalde shooting, which claimed the lives of nineteen students and two teachers, or the one in Lewiston, which claimed eighteen lives.

The numbers cited by Biden and CNN come from the Gun Violence Archive, which broadly defines mass shootings to include any case with four or more people shot or injured. The injuries could occur in the course of running away, and not from actually being shot. However, the GVA has also included cases with only three injured people (e.g., a July 22, 2023 attack at a residence at 10700 Rosehaven Dr, Houston, Texas.

There is a reason that Uvalde got the news coverage it did, and you don't hear about these other 600 cases. What makes these attacks newsworthy is that the shooter tries to kill as many people as possible in a public place. The FBI active shooting reports concentrate on shootings that occur in public and do not involve some other crime such as robbery. Traditionally, the FBI has classified " mass" as four or more people being murdered. Academic studies have used a similar definition.

Between January 1st, 1998, and October 25th, 2023, 52.5% of attacks used solely handguns, and 16.8% used only rifles of any type—thirty-five percent of attacks used solely rifles or rifles in conjunction with another type of gun. Given the debate over pistol-stabilizing braces, the Excel file we provide lists the guns used in each attack, and two of the attacks used AR-15-type handguns with a pistol-stabilizing brace. .....

The article continues with analysis of various percentile statistics, plus a significant number of useful graphics. Note - JPFO considers the term "shooting" in the context of this subject is generally better represented by the word "murder".


Back to Top