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Mass Shootings Can Be Contagious

Posted on in Criminal Defense

According to a new study, mass shootings in the United States could be linked to contagion. Scientists from the Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University analyzed data from high-profile school shootings and mass killings across over the United States over the past few years, and created a contagion model to analyze whether certain mass shootings simply inspired other shootings in the future.

They found a definite pattern of events that occurred very closely in time with each other, rather than random shooting incidents. Earlier studies have indicated that suicide among males seems to be contagious, and sometimes one suicide by a high school student can spark a series of suicides involving other children. In a case like this, the first incident seems to trigger off something in the subconscious of other individuals, who are already vulnerable and right for the planting of such unconscious ideation.

The researchers found that the suicide contagion theory could also be applied on a large scale to the mass shootings and school killings that have been reported across the country over the last several years. According to the study, mass killings can create a contagion that can last for approximately 30 days. Approximately 20% to 30% of such mass killings are linked to contagion.

In the analysis, the researchers found that on an average, mass killings occurred every two weeks in the United States, and school killings almost every month. However, the incidence of such events seems to be much higher in those states in which there is much more support for gun ownership and higher prevalence of ownership.

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