Examining Mass Shootings in the U.S.

According to a Harvard University study, between 2011 and 2014, there was a mass shooting occurring on average every 64 days. But in the 29 years prior, mass shootings took place about every 200 days.

(WLTX) -- Between 2011 and 2014, there was a mass shooting occurring on average every 64 days, according to a Harvard University study. But in the 29 years prior, mass shootings took place about every 200 days.

We are seeing it more on television and social media. Mass shootings can happen anywhere: a church, a nightclub, at work, and even a neighborhood ballpark.

"When we have one, there's likely to be another in the next couple of weeks," said retired FBI profiler, Gregg McCrary.

McCrary said there isn't just one reason why these shootings occur. Mental illness and access to weapons place a large part in it, but he said some suspects are looking for fame.

"Infamy comes pretty easy with a gun. You pull a trigger and shoot a few people, you have your name and picture all over the news," said McCrary.

"It can be filmed, it can be put on YouTube and people get Kudos for that unfortunately," said Jennifer Wolff, a crisis response counselor. 

In most mass shootings, McCrary said the suspect is angry, blaming others.

"There's a sense of powerlessness. They're frustrated that things aren't going their way, so they break out into violence. They think violence is the only way to take a stand," he said.

But experts say violence isn't the answer. Wolff believes we need to focus on peaceful resolutions.

"If I act on my impulse, then what is going to be the outcome? That is where we are breaking down. It's more of 'I want it and I want it now' and do it and worry about it later. The consequences are life-altering and devastating," she said.

Wolff and McCrary believe there is a way to prevent these life-changing events. The people more likely to take part in a mass shooting will vent to those closest to them before they act, and telling someone could save countless lives.

In most of the mass shootings, Wolff said there were warnings, but people did not take them seriously. She says it can be prevented, and if you notice anything suspicious, tell someone.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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