Since transitioning out of communist socio-political orders, more than a dozen Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have experienced mass shootings. To date, scholars have yet to identify a sample of cases that occurred throughout these regions of the world. This study puts forward the first collection of data on attempted and completed mass shootings through introducing 76 cases that occurred in 15 countries from 1993 to 2021. Data comprise 24 variables including offender characteristics of age, sex, motivation, life experiences, mental illness history as well as case-level characteristics including shooting type, location, fatality and injury counts, along with motivational factors including fame seeking and extremism. These data are presented for public access and are encouraged to be used for research triangulation and cross-national social inquiry on mass murder.
Welcome to the Journal of Mass Violence Research
The Journal of Mass Violence Research (JMVR) aims to share rigorous, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed studies related to different facets of mass violence in the U.S. and beyond. With a focus on public research and accessibility, JMVR seeks to promote high-quality scholarship and authors, disseminate findings via articles, videos, and infographics, and generate academic and public interest in this important research area.
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In this commentary, we propose a unifying public mass shooting definition that captures the generally conceptualized phenomenon but also expands the inclusion to all incidents regardless of casualty count. We suggest that public mass shootings be broken down into four outcome categories – completed, attempted, failed, and foiled – which have unique incident outcomes but share a common thread of mass intent. We argue for the importance of a no-minimum casualty count definition (thus including zero casualties) that emphasizes mass intent rather than the completion of the shooting. We highlight the value of and rationale for this definition by discussing the limitations of current victim criteria, and we conclude with a proposed strategy that emphasizes objective indicators of mass intent.
As defined back in the 1980s, the term “mass shooting” has long been understood to mean the intentional killing of four or more victims with gunfire in a single incident. However, recent efforts to examine this rare and tragic crime have employed alternate definitional criteria. In order to facilitate cross-study comparisons and curb rampant public fear, it is imperative that scholars, politicians, and the media avoid using the same terminology to describe very different phenomena. In this article, we advocate for the traditional definition in view of a variety of theoretical and methodological considerations.
Mass violence is a growing concern across the United States and around the world, and it affects millions of lives. The editors and the editorial board understand the importance of using a multidisciplinary, research-focused approach to define and measure the problem, identify and evaluate prevention and intervention efforts, and expand the body of knowledge to ultimately inform policies and programs related to mass violence.
The editors and editorial board of JMVR recognize that the issue of mass violence is one that spans many disciplines, including criminology and criminal justice, public health, sociology, psychology, and more. By offering a variety of perspectives and methodological approaches, we envision the journal to be one that provides a comprehensive framework through which to understand the problem of the mass violence. The journal is unique in that it addresses the many facets of mass violence in addition to perpetration, such as the victimization perspective, individual or societal effects, law enforcement responses, prevention efforts, and more.
To do this, JMVR also aims to address current conditions and practices that often stifle the sharing of information and research findings. Rather than paywalling research that has meaningful implications for practice, the journal provides full open-access free of charge to authors and readers. Additionally, the focus on public research encourages authors to produce easily digestible summaries of the studies in the form of infographics or short videos. This allows for the open sharing of research with the public, the media, policymakers, and practitioners to generate conversation and interest with the common goal of reducing and preventing instances of mass violence.
Driven by our Guiding Principles, the journal intends to re-envision the submission and production process, offering productive reviews, providing timely decisions to authors, and ensuring linguistic and intellectual access to findings all while still ensuring that all research is vetted through a rigorous review process. Additionally, we aim to create a culture of inclusivity and diversity, especially supporting and promoting early career researchers and authors, LGBTQ+ scholars, women, and scholars of color. We believe that these practices and principles will allow for the promotion of science in a time when it is desperately needed and address one of the most profound, tragic problems in our society.