New data from the Congressional Research Service suggests that mass shootings have occurred only slightly more frequently in recent years, reports Reason. From 1999 to 2003, there was an average of 20.8 incidents per year, with 95.8 people killed and 22.4 wounded. In the next five-year period, the average number of incidents fell negligibly to 20.2, the average number of people killed went up to 99, and the average number of people wounded declined to 19.4. And in 2009-2013, the number of incidents increased to 22.4, the number of people killed went up to 116, and the number of wounded rose to 46.6.
James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University criminologist, says the numbers show “a great volatility…There’s no solid trend.” The report shies away from finding a broad message in the data, but Fox says, “No matter how you cut it, there’s no epidemic. This report should calm the fears that many people have that these numbers are out of control.”