An analysis of data involving school shootings and mass killings around the country yields one very interesting fact- there seems to be a pattern to many such mass shootings, and some of them are definitely inspired by similar killings that occurred in the vicinity, or elsewhere around the country.
The research team went through statistics involving such mass killings, typically described as killings involving four or more victims. They found that a typical school shooting created a contagion effect that typically lasted an average of about 13 days. The researchers also found that between 20 % and 30% of such shootings involved contagion.
That contagion is probably the result of extensive mass media coverage of such shootings, which can continue for days later. This could possibly inspire other events or similar shootings elsewhere. It is not that these shootings are being copied on purpose. It could merely be that people who are already distressed, depressed, or otherwise vulnerable have these ideas about violent crimes placed in their minds because of the constant coverage of mass shootings and killings.
The United States is uniquely positioned for a study like this. On an average, there is a mass killing every two weeks in this country, and a school shooting at least every month.
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