School shootings, mass killings are ‘contagious,’ study finds
CNN - 07/06/2015
Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University, said it’s the amount of media coverage that matters.
“It’s the excessive media attention that creates the copycat phenomenon. We make celebrities out of monsters,” Levin said, noting that there are trading cards, action figures and magazine covers featuring murderers.
Researchers behind the new study also found that states with higher gun ownership were more likely to have mass killings and school shootings. On the contrary, states with tighter firearm laws had fewer mass shootings.
Levin said he believes a high number of handguns is partially responsible for the high rate of mass shootings in the United States.
“We have so many semi-automatic weapons that can be easily concealed, and taken from the home and used on classmates or whoever,” he said. “The real problem in (the United States) has to do with handguns being in the hands of the wrong people. But you can’t blame it all on guns. (The United States) leads the Western world in nongun homicides, too.”