Public Mass Shooting a Persistent Threat (CRS)

06.18.15 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Mass killings of the sort that took place yesterday in Charleston, South Carolina are a distressingly frequent occurrence. There were 78 public mass shootings in the United States between 1983 and 2013, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

“According to CRS estimates, over the last three decades public mass shootings have claimed 547 lives and led to an additional 476 injured victims,” the report said.

Of course, gun violence in America is much more common than mass killings. “While tragic and shocking, public mass shootings account for few of the murders or non-negligent homicides related to firearms that occur annually in the United States.” In 2011 alone, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, firearms were used to murder 8,583 people.

Nevertheless, despite these grim statistics, “over the last two decades, the nation has experienced a general decline in violent crime,” the CRS report said. “In 1992, 1.9 million violent crimes were reported, while 2011 saw 1.2 million. In the same period, the national murder rate dropped from 9.3 to 4.7 per 100,000 inhabitants.” See Public Mass Shootings in the United States: Selected Implications for Federal Public Health and Safety Policy, March 18, 2013.

New reports from the Congressional Research Service on other topics include the following.

Cybersecurity Issues for the Bulk Power System, June 10, 2015

Overview of Health Insurance Exchanges, June 10, 2015

The Addition of Trainers to Iraq: Background for Congress, June 16, 2015

Ending Cash Flow Financing to Egypt: Issues for Congress, June 4, 2015