While the perception in the wake of this year’s mass shootings has been that such acts are on the rise, the Associated Press found that it’s actually the exact opposite when you look at the data on a macro level.
“There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University.
He adds that the random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest.
While mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, says.
Chances of being killed in a mass shooting, he says, are probably no greater than being struck by lightning.