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Advancing Mass Shootings Research To Inform Practice

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NIJ’s findings point to the adoption of uniform definitions and comprehensive databases as logical next steps for improving research and practice to prevent mass shootings.
Mass shootings have a severe impact on victims and society, and understanding this form of violence is a national criminal justice priority. Law enforcement and researchers have produced greater knowledge about these events in recent years, but the field is limited by the absence of a uniform definition of mass shootings and a lack of consistent data sources on attempted and completed mass shooting incidents. This article summarizes the findings of the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) systematic review of the literature on mass shootings and explains that literature’s limitations. It also reports on a series of recent NIJ-led meetings with leading researchers and law enforcement practitioners, discussing their points of consensus and divergence on the subject of mass shootings as well as their recommendations for moving the field forward in both research and prevention efforts.
Date Created: April 6, 2020