Report on mass shootings urges plans to prevent workplace violence
As the country reels from a week of high-profile shootings, a new report on mass attacks calls on communities to act early when they see warning signs of violence, encourages businesses to consider workplace violence prevention plans and relationship between domestic violence, misogyny and misogyny. and mass attacks.
The report from the U.S. 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 such as businesses, schools or churches.
It was released as the US experienced a particularly deadly start to the new year, with 39 people killed in six mass killings, including one this week in Monterey Park, California, which left 11 people dead in a dance hall as they Lunar New Year.
“It just happens way too often,” said Lina Alathari, the center’s director, at a press conference ahead of the report’s release. Alathari said that while the center had not specifically studied the shootings that took place this week, there are themes that are seen “again and again” when analyzing mass attacks.
The report is the latest in a series undertaken by the center to look at the problem of mass attacks. While previous reports examined the specific years of 2017, 2018 and 2019, the new report noted that it analyzed several years of data and provides more “in-depth analysis of the thinking and behavior of mass attackers.”
The center defines a mass attack as an attack in which three or more people – not including the attacker – were harmed. Almost all attacks were carried out by a single person, 96% of the attackers were male, and the attackers ranged in age from 14 to 87 years old.
The report noted that nearly two-thirds of attackers engaged in behavior or communications “so concerning that they should have been responded to immediately.” It said these concerns were often shared with law enforcement, employers, school staff or parents. But in a fifth of cases, the conduct in question was not passed on to anyone “in a position to respond, demonstrating the ongoing need to promote and facilitate bystander reporting.”
The report also called for more attention to domestic violence and misogyny, noting that nearly half of the attackers studied had a history of domestic violence, misogynistic behavior, or both.
“While not everyone with misogynistic views is violent, views that describe women as the enemy or incite violence against women remain a cause for concern,” the report said.
About half of the attacks in the study involved a company location, and attackers often had a previous relationship with the company, as an employee, customer or former employer. The report also pointed to the role grievances such as workplace disputes or feuds with neighbors played in mass attacks. According to the report, about half of the attacks were “wholly or partly motivated by a perceived complaint”.
“Workplaces should establish behavioral threat assessment programs as part of their workplace violence prevention plans, and companies should also establish proactive relationships with local law enforcement so they can work together to respond to incidents of concern about violence, regardless of whether that concern stems from a current employee, a former employee or a customer,” the report said.
Photo: Flowers and balloons are placed near the site of a mass shooting at a Walmart, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Virginia. A Walmart executive opened fire on fellow employees in the break room of the Virginia store, implicating several people in the country’s second high-profile mass shooting in four days, police and witnesses said Wednesday. (TBEN Photo/Alex Brandon)
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