July 27, 2012

HOW PEOPLE COMMITTED MASS MURDER before modern weapons. Despite the language in the piece, however, there were no automatic weapons used at Aurora. It would be nice if journalists had a firmer grasp on this rather simple technology. Still, this is useful: “Guns aren’t even the most lethal mass murder weapon. According to data compiled by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, guns killed an average of 4.92 victims per mass murder in the United States during the 20th century, just edging out knives, blunt objects, and bare hands, which killed 4.52 people per incident. Fire killed 6.82 people per mass murder, while explosives far outpaced the other options at 20.82. Of the 25 deadliest mass murders in the 20th century, only 52 percent involved guns.”

Plus this: “In the 2000s, for example, both the mass murder and the homicide rates dropped to their lowest levels since the 1960s.”

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