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The majority of mass shootings are committed by white men, according to data

The devastation in Las Vegas was not committed by an Arab or a black man. As in most mass shootings, the attacker was a white male.
mass shootings
The majority of mass shootings in the United States since 1982 have been committed by white males, according to data. Photo: Reuters

The attack in Las Vegas is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history with nearly 60 dead and more than 500 injured. And the shooter is a white man. Since 1982, 54 percent of mass shootings (in which three or more fatalities were reported) were committed by white men, according to data from Mother Jones.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the horrific scene, but the gunman’s family said he does not have any ties to the Islamic State terror organization. President Trump’s Muslim-majority country travel ban plans have been met with opposition with critics rallying against Islamophobia and xenophobia in general.

The public did not hear an Arab name when the shooter was identified; it’s actually not a surprise that the shooter was a white male according to statistics.

“More than half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (12 and 20, respectively); the other 30 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, and religious and government buildings,” according to data analysis. “Forty-four of the killers were white males. Only one was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.) The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest among them was a mere 11 years old. (See Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.) A majority were mentally troubled—and many displayed signs of mental health problems before setting out to kill.”

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Of the 143 weapons, more than 75 percent were obtained legally and included assault weapons and semi-automatic handguns with high-capacity magazines.  

Black people accounted for roughly 16 percent of the mass shooting violence.

“There’s a feeling of entitlement that white men have that black men don’t," criminologist James Alan Fox told The Washington Post in 2012. "They often complain that their job was taken by blacks or Mexicans or Jews. They feel that a well-paid job is their birthright. It’s a blow to their psyche when they lose that ... If you’re a member of a group that hasn’t historically experienced unemployment, there’s a far greater stigma to [losing a job] than those who have."

The census of the United States should also be factored in when considering that white men commit the majority of mass shootings. White people make up 63 percent of the U.S. population and men are more likely to commit violent crime.

Randolph Roth, a history and sociology professor at Ohio State University, explained that women are more likely to kill people they know, like husbands, boyfriends or children. “When women kill, it’s personal,” he told The Post. “They kill because they hate you.”  

In the U.S., 98 percent of mass shootings and 90 percent of all murders are committed by men.   

 
 
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