The Violence Project: How To Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic

Abrams. Sept. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9781419752957. $28. CRIME
Peterson (criminology and criminal justice, Hamline Univ.) and Densley (criminal justice, Metropolitan State Univ.) report on their research examining the root causes of mass shootings. Frustrated by policies that were created only after shootings occurred, Peterson and Densley decided to study every mass shooter (defined as anyone who “killed four or more people in a public space”) since 1966. They gathered information to “see if profiles emerged that might point us to new ideas for prevention”; the result was a database of shooters, with basic demographics (age, education, gender, race, etc.) and more in-depth information (whether the perpetrator had been institutionalized for mental illness; whether they had told anyone about their plans in advance). The authors found that killers often follow a pattern: Many were abused as children, reached a crisis point in the weeks or months before the shooting, and blamed an individual or group for their rage and frustration. This is a thorough, groundbreaking work that attempts to understand mass shootings and ways to prevent them.
VERDICT A gripping book that will captivate anyone seeking to understand why mass shootings occur and what might be done to recognize and intervene with potential shooters before they act.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing