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The Nature, Trends, Correlates and Prevention of Mass Public Shootings in America, 1976-2018

Award Information

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Competitive Discretionary
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Past Project Period End Date
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Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $498,929)

This project will examine both micro and macro-level aspects of public mass shootings with a focus on description, explanation, prediction, and aspects associated with control of these incidents.

The specific aims of this project are to advance our understanding of public mass shootings by 1) forecasting the severity of mass public shootings; 2) measuring the effects of the 1994 federal Assault Weapons Ban on mass public shootings; 3) evaluating state-level gun laws effects on the incidence and severity of mass public shootings; 4) examining contagion and the copycat effect in mass public shootings; 5) comparing completed and thwarted mass public shootings; and 6) describing mass public shootings that occurred in the United States since 1976 in-depth.

These findings will help in terms of formulation of possible prevention strategies, provide evidence of the validity of the copycat hypothesis, improve our knowledge on effects (if any) of the federal assault weapon ban law and state-level gun legislation implemented since 1976 on mass shootings, and inform us of future levels of the severity of mass public shootings over the next decade or more, the thorough analysis of prevented mass shootings while compared to those that were completed, will fill gap in knowledge by providing information to scholars, policymakers, and practitioners on whether particular strategies (e.g., local-level prevention policies or responsiveness to violent threats) may have contributed to thwarting mass shooting plots. These findings may inform in the formulation of evidence-based policy and practice to prevent public mass shooting from occurring, minimize their severity when the do occur.

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14).


Date Created: September 27, 2018