Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Reason Magazine (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Mass Shooters by Race and Hispanic Ethnicity: Not Far off from the Population as a Whole

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

It’s not clear to me how useful it is to identify the racial and ethnic breakdown of mass shooters—but it is pretty clear that it’s not useful to misidentify that breakdown. And the suggestion I’ve seen from various people (one example here) that mass shooters are disproportionately white does seem to be a mistake.

Here, for instance, is the data based on the Mother Jones database of 121 mass shootings from 1982 to 2021 (unlikely, given the source, to be influenced by conservative ideology), compared to the 2000 Census statistics on the population as a whole (on the theory that it should roughly approximate the population average from 1982 to 2021):

Race % of mass shooters % of population
Asian 6.6% 3.6%
Black 17.4% 12.3%
Hispanic 8.3% 12.5%
Native American 2.5% 1.0%
White Non-Hispanic 54.5% 62.6%
Other 4.1% 7.9%
Unspecified/Unclear 6.6%

Of course, there’s a lot of fuzziness along the edges. For instance, I calculated the white non-Hispanic percentage of the population in 2000 by subtracting Hispanics from whites, but some Hispanics might be nonwhite. The “other” numbers, which for the census data include people who describe themselves as multiracial, are likely not directly comparable, and in any event it’s not clear just how the Mother Jones data draws the line as to who is classified as “other” or unspecified. There’s also likely some uncertainty about the race and ethnicity of some of the killers.

And of course much depends on the definition of mass shootings; Mother Jones appears to define it as “a single attack in a public place in which four or more victims were killed.” If that is broadened, for instance to shootings with fewer fatalities, the numbers might change (likely with the black percentages increasing, to reflect the higher homicide rates among blacks more generally).

Still, the bottom line seems clear: Non-Hispanic whites don’t seem to commit mass shootings at greater than their share of the population. The groups that appear overrepresented are blacks and Asians, but the gaps there are fairly small and may be skewed by just a handful of shootings (given that the denominator is 121, 8 of which were by Asians and 21 by blacks). Of course, I’m not the first to note this; see, e.g., this 2017 Slate article (Daniel Engber), also based on the Mother Jones data.

Naturally, one disproportion is utterly vast: Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of all mass shootings are committed by men (just as males are generally more violent, to my knowledge in all human societies, and for that matter among our cousins the chimpanzees). But for race, the disproportions for this set of mass shootings is minor.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.