Mass killings such as the one in Aurora, Colorado, are rare but horrible. They take place against a background of a declining U.S. overall murder rate and a declining U.S. violent crime rate. And the frequency of mass killings in the United States appears to have passed its peak.
Now I agree that statistics are no consolation if you or someone you love is a murder victim, and I know there are neighborhoods and communities in the United States where violence is a clear and ever-present danger. But average middle-class Americans are less in danger of violent crime than they’ve ever been.
Click on The Declining Culture of Guns and Violence in the United States on the Monkey Cage web site for the statistics on the declining murder and violent crime rate.
Click on Horrifying But Rare for an article on rampage killings by Grant Duwe, director of research for the Minnesota Department of Corrections and author of Mass Murder in the United States: a History.