Anatomy of Mass Shootings

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If you are involved in a mass shooting (defined as gun related death of four or more people) the event will most likely have the following statistics: It will take place at your workplace (49%), will be from a white (59%) male (96%) that will have prior signs of mental illness (45%) and the weapon will have been obtained legally (79%) of the time.

Gun Policy and the US Congress

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Gun Control is a polarizing issue between the two major parties in the United States. Of representatives currently serving in congress (the 114th) the split is clear – 93% of Republicans support gun rights, while 97% of Democrats support more gun control. With virtually no overlap between the parties, it seems the only way to change existing gun policy is for one party to have a clear majority across each level of government – the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President.

Gun Deaths by Country

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With proposed gun regulations in the news in the US, its insightful to ask –  how does the United States compare with other developed countries in gun violence? Above is a graphic displaying the number of gun related deaths per 100k population for all 34 countries in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), a group of the most developed nations in the world.

There is one clear outlier – the US has 2 to 3 times the number of gun related deaths per capita than all other comparable countries. Although the number gun related deaths have gone down drastically since the 1980’s, the United States still has twice the number of deaths per capita than the next highest OCED country. Numbers like these seem to indicate that more guns in a society lead to more gun related deaths – not less – as some pro-gun advocates remark.