Gun Violence Is an Everywhere Issue
Richard Florida. Dec 15, 2012
All too often gun violence in America is posed as an urban problem. True, large urban centers have the highest rates of murders by gun. But our suburbs, small towns and rural areas are far from immune to the tragic consequences of guns, as the mass murder of children in Newtown, Connecticut, shows, not to mention the killing spree in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater this past summer, or the gunning down of Gabby Giffords and others during a political event in Tucson, Arizona, or 1999’s mass shooting at Columbine High School.
With the help of Atlantic Cities’ fellow Sara Johnson, I examined several lists of the locations of recent mass shootings in America. While the data do not cover every mass shooting and have limited geographic information, our accounting clearly shows that the wide majority of mass killings and especially mass school killings have occurred not in the urban centers of large cities, but in the small towns, burgs and villages of our suburban and rural areas.
By our accounting, more than 80 percent of America’s 21 worst mass killings identified by theHartford Courant took place in suburban towns or rural areas, including each and every one of what the paper identifies as the five “worst school massacres in U.S. history.” More than two-thirds of the 61 mass shootings that occurred between 1982 and 2012 according to a list and map compiled this year by Mother Jones can also be traced to a suburban or rural location.”