The blood currency of suicidal mass shooters: 60 years of U.S. evidence

by   Quan-Hoang Vuong, et al.

When looking at mass shooting incidents, suicidal shooters seem to carry an even more extreme sense of terror and brutality. The current study aimed to examine how mass shooters suicidality and suicide behavioral threshold influence the severity of the mass shooting. We employed Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics on a dataset of 194 mass shooters (incidents with four or more victims killed) from 1966 to 2023 in the United States (U.S.). The data were retrieved from The Violence Project Database, originally supported by the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. Based on the statistical analysis, we discovered that mass shooters with suicidal ideation were more likely to kill two more victims on average than their non-suicidal counterparts. For suicidal mass shooters found dead on the scene (either by self-killing or suicide by cop), their victim count rises by around four on average when compared to non-suicidal mass shooters. The findings were reasoned through the information-processing perspective of the Mindsponge Theory. Based on the findings and reasoning, we suggest that mass shootings should be considered within larger socio-cultural settings instead of attributing it to be driven primarily by diagnosable psychopathology. Also, promoting an appropriate interpretation of the values of life and death can be an effective way to alleviate the effects of suicidality on mass shooting severity.


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