Mass Violence Is a Rare Event Despite the fear and public scrutiny they evoke, mass shootings are statistically rare events. Mass shootings accounted for less than two-tenths of 1 percent of homicides in the United States between 2000 and 2016. Even school shootings, the most tragic of such events, are infrequent. People are more likely to intentionally kill themselves with a gun than to be killed by a gun in a mass shooting or other type of homicide.
Perpetrators Share Certain Characteristics While perpetrators of mass violence can be categorized with respect to motivation, the characteris- tics of individual perpetrators cut across demographic, sociologic, cultural and occupational groups. The characteristics that most frequently occur are males, often hopeless and harboring grievances that are frequently related to work, school, finances or interpersonal relationships; feeling victimized and sympatizing with others who they perceive to be similarly mistreated; indifference to life; and often subsequently dying by suicide. They frequently plan and prepare for their attack and often share infor- mation about the attack with others, though often not with the intended victims.