An Investigation of Mass Public Shooting Attacks Against Government Targets in the United States

Joel A. Capellan, Jason R. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study examines mass public shooters who target government agents and institutions in the United States. This research uses a rational choice perspective to examine the incidence, motivations, and target selection. Additionally, this work provides an in-depth investigation of ideological attacks, as well as a comparison against general mass public shooting perpetrator, planning, and incident characteristics. Results indicate non-ideological attacks against government targets occur more than ideologically motivated shootings. Importantly, the majority of ideologically motivated mass public shooters do not attack government targets. These findings provide implications for security, policy, and prevention strategies that have historically focused on ideologically motivated mass public shootings against government targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-409
Number of pages23
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations

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