“Happens way too often”: Report addresses mass attacks

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WASHINGTON (AP) — As the nation reels from a week of high-profile shootings, a new mass shooting report urges communities to intervene early if they see warning signs of violence, urges the companies consider workplace violence prevention plans, emphasizing the link. between domestic violence, misogyny and mass attacks.

The report, released Wednesday by the US Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center, analyzed 173 mass attacks carried out over a five-year period from January 2016 to December 2020 in public or semi-public places. public such as businesses, schools or churches.

It was released as the United States was experiencing a particularly deadly start to the New Year that saw 39 people dead in six mass killings, including one this week in Monterey Park, California that left 11 a dead person in a dance hall when Lunar welcomed him. A new year.

“This happens far too often,” Lina Alathari, the center’s director, said at a press conference ahead of the report’s release. Alathari said that while the center did not specifically investigate the shootings that took place this week, there are themes that “constantly” emerge when mass attacks are analysed.

The report is the latest in a series the center has produced to address the problem of mass attacks. While previous reports examined the specific years of 2017, 2018 and 2019, the new report found that it analyzed data spanning several years and provided “a deeper analysis of the thinking and behavior of mass attackers.”

The Center defines a mass attack as one in which three or more people, not including the attacker, are injured. Almost all the attacks were carried out by one person, 96% of the attackers were men and the attackers were between 14 and 87 years old.

The report found that nearly two-thirds of attackers exhibited behavior or communications “that were of sufficient concern to warrant immediate action.” These concerns were often shared with law enforcement, employers, school personnel, or parents. But in five of the cases, the behavior in question was not reported to anyone “who could respond, demonstrating the continued need to encourage and facilitate bystander reporting”.

The report also called for more attention to domestic violence and misogyny, noting that almost half of the attackers studied had a history of domestic violence, misogyny, or both.

“While not all misogynist views are violent, views that portray women as enemies or incite violence against women remain a concern,” the report says.

About half of the attacks in the study were aimed at a place of business, and the attackers often had a prior relationship with the business, as an employee, customer, or former employer. The report also highlighted the role played by grievances such as disputes at the workplace or fights with neighbors in the mass attacks. About half of the attacks were “motivated in whole or in part by perceived resentment,” according to the report.

“Workplaces should establish behavioral threat assessment programs as part of their workplace violence prevention plans, and businesses should also develop proactive relationships with local law enforcement agencies so they can work together to respond to incidents involving violence, regardless of whether that concern arises from an actual employee. , former employee, or customer,” the report said.

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Follow Santana on Twitter @ruskygal.

Rebecca Santana, The Associated Press

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