Mass Shootings in America
Understanding the Debates, Causes, and Responses
by Jaclyn Schildkraut, Editor
May 2018, 332pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5624-2
$103, £80, 90€, A142
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eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5625-9
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Nearly one out of four mass shootings that took place in the United States between 2000 and 2012 was never mentioned in The New York Times.

This work examines mass shootings in the United States, focusing on events from 1966 to 2016. In addition to providing essential information about each shooting, it surveys underlying causes of such events and potential reforms to prevent future ones.

This book is an informed and informative resource for understanding the reasons for and consequences of mass shootings in America. It includes essays from experts in the fields of criminal justice, sociology, and psychology about key issues surrounding the phenomenon of mass shootings and a collection of opinion pieces that provide insights into debates surrounding gun laws and other issues related to mass shootings. The title also features an encyclopedia section containing entries on every mass shooting in the United States from 1966 to 2016 for easy reference and a collection of illuminating and historically important primary documents pertaining to mass shooting events and the broader problem of violence in American society.

Accessible, authoritative, and comprehensive, Mass Shootings in America will assist a wide range of readers, including budding scholars, seasoned researchers, and members of the general public, to a better understanding of mass shootings and their causes as well as steps that might be taken to reduce their severity and frequency.


  • Helps readers to understand a controversial topic with overview essays written by subject experts on mass shootings and their underlying causes
  • Breaks up the tragedy of mass shootings with individual entries on more than 300 that have taken place in the United States since 1966
  • Provides perspective on various subjects of debate through contributions from experts and issue advocates
  • Documents America's response to mass shootings, from the official investigative reports on the Columbine High School shooting to former President Barack Obama's response to the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, through careful selection of primary sources
Jaclyn Schildkraut, PhD, is associate professor of criminal justice at the State University of New York at Oswego (NY). She is coauthor of Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities as well as numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.


"Mass shootings are not a new phenomenon, and there is a lot of research available; this work’s value is that it compiles salient works into a single volume suitable for the general reader interested in an analytical treatment of mass shootings in the U.S."—Booklist, August 27, 2018

"This balanced volume effectively juxtaposes practical and theory-based solutions to the problem and includes opposing viewpoints. VERDICT An excellent starting point for student researchers and general readers on a topic that is front-page news on an all-too-frequent basis."—Library Journal, September 1, 2018

"The reader is taken into an excellent introduction that quickly brings the novice up to speed with this topic. . . . A nice index and recommended readings area close out this excellent reference work. A great example of a chapter is in the expert Q&A section: 'Government Options to Stop School Shootings' by Dr. Lawrence Southwick, Jr. Eight pages cover several questions in a simple and easy-to-use format. Questions and conclusions are provided and an excellent list of references is available for those wishing to do more research."—ARBA, December 6, 2018

"Given the fast-growing interest in the topic of mass shootings, as well as the often contentious debate about causes and solutions, the need is great for an edition like this one. Jaclyn Schildkraut has assembled a superb collection of important research contributed by widely respected experts along with key documents and reports on the topic. I, for one, will keep this volume close at hand for frequent reference."—James Alan Fox, PhD, The Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University, and Coauthor of Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder

"Jaclyn Schildkraut has assembled an extremely important text exploring Mass Shootings in America: Understanding the Debates, Causes, and Responses. Schildkraut and her collaborators have assembled a wide range of texts dealing with key issues of firearms, mental health, violent media and video games, warning signs, and ways to deal with potential school and mass shootings. The text contains invaluable compilation of mass shooting events (1966-2016) and pivotal documents, along with a variety of experts who weigh in on the issue. Presentation is clear and straightforward, and is accessible to a younger audience and the general public, as well as scholars who research mass shootings, and politicians and administrators who are tasked to deal with the problems—although we know all too well that Congress and special interest often block rational responses to mass shootings. Everyone concerned with the epidemic of mass shootings in America should read this book and there should be vigorous discussion of how to deal with the problem of mass shootings and those who would ignore the problem."—Douglas Kellner, PhD, UCLA and Author of Guys and Guns Amok

"Dr. Schildkraut's book is a wonderful resource for all who are interested in mass shootings. She has provided researchers with important documentation and informative discussions by experts in the field on mass shootings, while also giving interested nonprofessional readers an overview of the many facets of the problem. She has masterfully bridged the interests of both professional and lay communities. The essays in the first section of the book provide an intelligent overview of mass shootings: the debates about perpetrator mental health and motivations, root causes, the role of gender, responses by law enforcement, and prevention are well summarized and presented without bias. In addition, mass shootings are viewed through the lenses of terrorism and hate crimes. The encyclopedia of mass shootings is extremely helpful to researchers because of its comprehensiveness. The synopses of each event are an extra benefit. The essays that present the debate over guns and their access provides an unusual and informative view into the various perspectives on gun control and violence. Finally, the section on important documents related to mass shootings provides valuable resources in a single volume. For anybody interested in mass shootings, Dr. Schildkraut has provided a valuable and easily accessible resource."—Ralph Larkin, PhD, Professor of Sociology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
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