In U.S., 62 Massacres in 30 Years

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, here's a look at the history of shooting sprees in the U.S.

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In a country where it is legal to own arms, Americans are increasingly faced with tragedies like the recent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many hope that these incidents, which are becoming more frequent, will be the catalyst the government needs to spur tougher gun regulation. Mother Jones has created an infographic detailing the mass shootings in America in the last 30 years, and reports that there have been 62 such tragedies in the U.S. in that period.

Weapons: Of the 139 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally. The arsenal included dozens of assault weapons and semiautomatic handguns. (See charts below.) Just as Jeffrey Weise used a .40-caliber Glock to massacre students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did James Holmes (along with an AR-15 assault rifle) when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater.

The killers: Just under half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (11 and 19, respectively); the other 31 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, government buildings, and military bases. Forty three of the killers were white males. Only one of them was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.) The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest among them was a mere 11 years old. (See Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.) Explore the map for further details—we do not consider it to be all-inclusive, but based on the criteria we used to identify mass murders, we believe that we've produced the most comprehensive rundown available on this particular type of traumatic violence. (Mass murders represent only a sliver of America's overall gun violence.) For a timeline listing all the cases on the map, including photos of the killers, jump to page 2.)

Read more at Mother Jones.

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