Tuesday, November 11, 2014

FBI UCR 2013 Statistics

The FBI released its Uniform Crime Report for 2013 yesterday. Among the findings:

The estimated number of violent crimes in the nation decreased 4.4 percent in 2013 when compared with 2012 data, according to FBI figures released today. Property crimes decreased 4.1 percent, marking the 11th straight year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.

A total of 18,415 city, county, state, university and college, tribal, and federal agencies participated in the UCR Program in 2013. A summary of the statistics reported by these agencies, which are included in Crime in the United States, 2013, follows:
  • In 2013, there were an estimated 1,163,146 violent crimes. Each of the violent crimes show declines (murder and non-negligent manslaughter—4.4 percent, rape [legacy definition]—6.3 percent, robbery—2.8 percent, and aggravated assault—5.0 percent) compared with estimates from 2012.
  • Nationwide, there were an estimated 8,632,512 property crimes. The estimated numbers of each of the property crimes also show declines when compared with the previous year’s estimates. Burglaries dropped 8.6 percent, larceny-thefts declined 2.7 percent, and motor vehicle thefts were down 3.3 percent.
  • Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses calculated at an estimated $16.6 billion in 2013.
  • The FBI estimated that agencies nationwide made about 11.3 million arrests, excluding traffic violations, in 2013.
  • In 2013, there were 13,051 law enforcement agencies that reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of October 31, 2013, they collectively employed 626,942 sworn officers and 275,468 civilians, a rate of 3.4 employees per 1,000 inhabitants.
 By charts:

 Violent Crime Graphic from Crime in the U.S., 2013 Report

Property Crime Graphic from Crime in the U.S., 2013 Report

And they address the change in the definition of rape, which as been much discussed but finally implemented for the 2013 report:
Prior to 2013, the FBI’s UCR Program collected rape data in the Summary Reporting System under the category “forcible rape.” In 2013, the program removed the term “forcible” from the title and revised the definition. The legacy UCR definition of rape is “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” The revised UCR definition of rape is “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
It essentially broadens the definition by removing "of a female" to allow male victimization (prison rape, etc.), and gets us out of the straw man discussions regarding what's "forcible" and what's not.

Overall, the numbers speak for themselves. Crime continues to trend downward to historic lows, the likes of which we haven't seen since the 1960's.

It also raises the obvious question: why, then, are 2.2 million people still behind bars in the U.S.?

Life in "Club Fed"

A former student (and now working correspondent for the magazine) sent me this great interview in Fortune magazine with Mathew Kluger, a Wall Street lawyer convicted of insider trading, who received the longest white-collar sentence ever (12 years) for this particular crime. Kluger compares life in white-collar minimum security federal prison to being at a "spa", and suggests the moniker "club fed" (after the Club Med chain of spas) is not that far off the mark.

Kluger describes a world of gyms, spin classes, downloadable music, email access (for a price), five hour work weeks, fights more analogous to "middle school" than prison, prison movies via Netflix, a college campus like atmosphere of security, and generally conditions "fancier than the average American tax payer would like it to be." While his 8 week stay in solitary for violating an email policy was eye-opening, most of the conditions he describes border on country club like settings.

It's a long read, but an eye opening one. Kluger is alternately laconic and long-winded in his descriptions of day to day to life, but his observations are also strikingly witty and hilarious. I think it's one of the first prison interviews I've laughed out loud at repeatedly. 

Take a few minutes and educate yourself. Thanks to @polina_marinova for the heads up.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Post Election Hangover

Liberals and Democrats are crying in their milk, Conservative and Republicans are celebrating what seems like a clean sweep of the 2014 mid-terms, and we at the Power-Elite blog are busy celebrating this article in the Berkeley Journal of Sociology on why Big Data and the "Polling Industrial Complex," where predicting statistically who is going to win and/or prevail, has become just as meaningless and vapid in politics as the standard attack ad.

While the 2012 re-election of America’s first African-American President signaled resurgence in support for social liberalism, it also announced a sea change in our media culture: the triumph of polling statisticians over the “go with your gut” prognostications of traditional punditry. On Election Day, Nate Silver finally burst the bubble of such notable blowhards as Joe Scarborough, Peggy Noonan, and most dramatically Karl Rove, whose on-air denial of the election results and subsequent dismissal by Fox News’s election team quickly became YouTube spectacle. Meanwhile, Silver published quantitative analyses of how minorities’ limited access to voting booths would affect Obama’s chances of victory; the Obama campaign itself received plaudits for its use of statistical algorithms to identify likely voters and encourage turnout. It seemed the era of Big Data had finally come not just to political coverage, but to political activism.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. If 2012 was the tipping point for media-savvy statisticians, 2014 is the first cycle where their reign is undisputed. Silver launched the new fivethirtyeight.com under ESPN’s auspices with a self-described manifesto ending with the line “It’s time for us to start making the news a little nerdier.” Other bloggers such as Ezra Klein proudly crow their “wonky” credentials. Wasn’t our media shocked back into shape by Silver’s data-centric journalism?

Apparently not. Data journalism has failed to mitigate the feedback loop governing Americans’ distaste for mass media, and has become a manifestation of the very social phenomenon it was meant to dissect: the bifurcation in media culture between fear mongering and colorless prognostication. The real problem with our media wasn’t that it was bad at predicting elections (although it was)—it’s that it spends so much time on predicting elections at all, as opposed to moderating and shaping a national debate on what is at stake at the ballot box. Statisticians like Silver have helped eliminate bias when it comes to election prognostication, but there hasn’t been a similar commitment to eliminating the bias of spurious political narratives peddled by major media outlets. This leaves data journalism in the unfortunate position of helping to predict our electoral choices without evaluating their significance and pointing to alternatives.
Exactly. Over the past two years I've been surprised by the lack of analysis over the quality or point of such predictions (and the general hagiography around Nate Silver). Coming from academia, predictive analysis is great and a gold standard to pursue, but without context, your research data is meaningless.

It's ironic that Silver's fivethirtyeight.com is under ESPN's banner, because when you watch predictive analysis on SportsCenter or MLB's Quick Pitch, not only do you get quantitative predictions, but you get in-depth evaluation of the significance behind a team or pitcher, and alternatives to quarterbacks, draft picks, etc.

Put it this way: the press coverage and analytics behind the NFL and MLB drafts is far superior to any political reporting that was done in the run up to the mid-term election this year. 
This isn’t to say there isn’t value in the technocratic skill and rigor behind data journalism. There is no question that a refined quantitative methodology for predicting election results is leagues beyond the horserace neuroticism of sites like Politico. But if, as Silver has said, he will not “do advocacy” and “won’t do a ton of public policy coverage,” then sites like FiveThirtyEight are really just a more skillful extension of the media circus Silver made a career out of criticizing. This is because eliminating bias when predicting events, in the absence of preventing bias when interpreting them, leaves intact the dysfunctional trajectory mass media has taken: its propensity for navel-gazing and sensationalism over actual journalism. As a result, data journalism runs the risk of statistically aggregating the U.S. political electorate before it can even express itself—and thereby downplaying its potential for transforming the political realities we face.
It's like being told your team preference before having a chance to figure it out yourself. Not only is that "advocacy" of the worst kind, it circumvents any kind of thoughtful input from the voters themselves. In that sense, Fantasy Football or Fantasy Baseball is far preferable to the media coverage of partisan politics in the U.S. right now.

But I think proof of how meaningless this Big Data dump on people is, without context, is seen in the results on Tuesday. Once you get past the simplistic binary battles between candidates and parties, you find that Congress still, as a whole, has an approval rating of 11% (only pedophiles poll slightly lower), and despite that, the incumbency return rate on Tuesday was 95%. Meaning, 95% of incumbents were voted back into office.

So bravo on being the "most accurate" in calling the election. The predictions and results are simply meaningless.

Getting past partisanship, the real surprise for this blog was in the social issues, which struck a surprisingly liberal/libertarian theme that contradicts the conservative electoral sweep. In every state where the issues were on the ballot, marijuana was legalized, the minimum wage raised, and sentencing reform enacted.
On at least six high-profile and often contentious issues — minimum wage, marijuana legalization, criminal justice reform, abortion rights, gun control and environmental protection — voters approved ballot measures, in some cases overwhelmingly, that were directly at odds with the positions of many of the Republican winners.

MINIMUM WAGE Initiatives to raise the minimum wage appeared on the ballots in four deep-red states — Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota — and passed in all of them. The new hourly minimums range from $8.50 in Arkansas by 2017 to $9.75 in Alaska by 2016. Minimum-wage increases were also approved in San Francisco (to $15 an hour by 2018) and Oakland (to $12.25 an hour by 2015). In all, an estimated 609,000 low-wage workers will see raises from these approved increases.

MARIJUANA Oregon and Alaska became the third and fourth states to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes (Colorado and Washington were the first two), while the District of Columbia repealed all criminal and civil penalties for possession and allowed limited, private cultivation of the drug.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM For the second time in three years, Californians voted to shorten the sentences of people serving time in prison. The state — which created the notorious three-strikes law — remains under federal court order to reduce prison overcrowding.

On Tuesday, the measure, which enjoyed broad bipartisan support, passed with more than 58 percent of the vote. Many politicians are still afraid of looking soft on crime, but California’s experience shows that voters can lead the way.

ABORTION RIGHTS The overwhelming rejection of “personhood” measures in Colorado and North Dakota dealt another well-deserved blow to the effort by some opponents of reproductive rights to ban all abortions (and some common forms of contraception) by passing laws giving fertilized eggs legal rights and protections that apply to individuals.

GUN CONTROL In the aftermath of the school massacre in 2012 in Newtown, Conn., Congress — caving to the National Rifle Association — did nothing to protect the public from gun violence. In Washington State, a campaign started by outraged church and community leaders fared much better. Initiative 594, which will require criminal and mental-health checks on gun buyers, drew an impressive 60 percent voter support on Tuesday.

CONSERVATION Environmentalists who may be singing the blues over the election results can take heart from approval of a record $13 billion in land conservation measures in states and cities across the country.
Again, further proof that Big Data and "predictive" quantitative politics without context is pointless.

When you get out of the cesspool and circle jerk of partisan politics in this country, what you see is how the people really are moving on a variety of social and economic issues. And it has nothing to do with partisanship, Washington, Republicans or Democrats, or the next "big victory."

Cross posted to: The Cranky Sociologists

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Support The Troops

Remember 10 years ago, when that slogan was everywhere and if you weren't falling all over yourself honoring the men and women in uniform you were "with the terrorists"? My, how times have changed.

With States' Help, Predatory Lenders Target Military:

Lenders have come under fire in Washington in recent years. Yet one corner of the financial industry — lending to people with poor credit scores — has found sympathetic audiences in many state capitals.

Over the last two years, lawmakers in at least eight states have voted to increase the fees or the interest rates that lenders can charge on certain personal loans used by millions of borrowers with subpar credit.

The overhaul of the state lending laws comes after a lobbying push by the consumer loan industry and a wave of campaign donations to state lawmakers. In North Carolina, for example, lenders and their lobbyists overcame unusually dogged opposition from military commanders, who two years earlier had warned that raising rates on loans could harm their troops.
Because we pay the troops so little for their service (a median annual salary in 2013 of $33,000), they are targets for the bottom-feeding subprime loan industry. And several states are rolling over, making it easier for them to screw the troops in the process.
The lenders argued that interest rate caps had not kept pace with the increased costs of doing business, including running branches and hiring employees. Unless they can make an acceptable profit, the industry says, lenders will not be able to offer loans allowing people with damaged credit to pay for car repairs or medical bills.

But a recent regulatory filing by one of the nation’s largest subprime consumer lenders, Citigroup’s OneMain Financial unit, shows that making personal loans to people on the financial margins can be a highly profitable business — even before state lending laws were changed. Last year, OneMain’s profit increased 31 percent from 2012.

OneMain, which has 1.3 million customer accounts, offers its borrowers unsecured, installment loans with interest rates of up to 36 percent. Borrowers pay both interest and principal in monthly installments until the loan is paid off, usually within a few years. But many of its borrowers refinance their outstanding balance.

About 60 percent of OneMain’s loans are so-called renewals — a trend one analyst called “default masking” because borrowers may be able to refinance before they run into trouble paying back their current balance.

In pushing for the changes, the North Carolina Financial Services Association, which represented OneMain and Springleaf, as well as lobbyists for dozens of smaller, locally based lenders, argued that lending caps had not been updated in years. “Rents are higher, electricity costs more, gasoline costs more,” the group’s lobbyist, Richard H. Carlton, said in an interview. “But the rates hadn’t kept pace.”
LOL. If you can't make a profit off loan sharking at 36% interest (which btw is higher than what a standard Mob-backed "vig" runs), maybe you need to be capped, er, put out of business. Permanently.

But it's bad when you have military brass, not exactly what one would call a "liberal" group, backing more financial regulation to protect their soldiers.
Commanders from Fort Bragg, home of the Army’s Special Operations Forces, and Camp Lejeune, the Marine base, rarely come out so publicly to denounce a bill, some lawmakers said. But they made an exception for installment loans. One commander worried that “out-of-control debt” could jeopardize soldiers’ security clearances.
Not to mention, create an undue hardship on the troops which leads to higher rates of divorce, domestic violence, and so on.

As I mentioned in a post last month, if you think the bottom-feeders on Wall Street (the OneMain lender mentioned above is a subsidiary of CitiGroup), went away after the Great Recession and financial reform that followed, think again. 

The loan sharks are still preying on the poor, single women with children, members of the military, and other down on their luck working class folks, taking the proverbial blood from the poor stone.  Talk about a new form of terrorism.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Legal Looting

Asset Seizures Fuel Police Spending Bonanza:

Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize. The Washington Post obtained 43,000 of the reports dating from 2008 through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Of the nearly $2.5 billion in spending reported in the forms, 81 percent came from cash and property seizures in which no indictment was filed, according to an analysis by The Post. Owners must prove that their money or property was acquired legally in order to get it back.
Which is a little difficult if they've taken all your assets and you have nothing to hire a lawyer with to start the process. Advantage, law enforcement.

But the amount being seized is staggering. Over $2 billion seized from people who never had a charge brought against them; another $500 million had charges brought, most of which were subsequently dismissed. Basically, this is legal looting.
The police purchases comprise a rich mix of the practical and the high-tech, including an array of gear that has helped some departments militarize their operations: Humvees, automatic weapons, gas grenades, night-vision scopes and sniper gear. Many departments acquired electronic surveillance equipment, including automated license-plate readers and systems that track cellphones.

The spending also included a $5 million helicopter for Los Angeles police; a mobile command bus worth more than $1 million in Prince George’s County; an armored personnel carrier costing $227,000 in Douglasville, Ga., population 32,000; $5,300 worth of “challenge coin” medallions in Brunswick County, N.C.; $4,600 for a Sheriff’s Award Banquet by the Doña Ana County (N.M.) Sheriff’s Department; and a $637 coffee maker for the Randall County Sheriff’s Department in Amarillo, Tex.
That must be one boss coffee maker for $637. But my favorite is Sparkles the Clown.
Sparkles the Clown was hired for $225 by Chief Jeff Buck in Reminderville, Ohio, to improve community relations. But Buck said the seizure money has been crucial to sustaining long-term investigations that have put thousands of drug traffickers in prison.

“The money I spent on Sparkles the Clown is a very, very minute portion of the forfeited money that I spend in fighting the war on drugs,” he told The Post. 
Awesome...it would certainly be a kind of Scared Straight deterrent for me, because I really hate clowns.

And that's not the only stupid being spent by law enforcement agencies with this stolen, er, legally seized money.
One task force used the money for a subscription to High Times, a magazine for marijuana enthusiasts, at $29.99 for a year. 

Several departments bought custom-made trading cards, complete with photos and data about their officers. Some, including police in Chelsea, Mass., share them with children in their communities.

Ten agencies have used the asset forfeiture funds to pay their fees for the Defense Department’s excess property initiative, better known as the 1033 program, which enables local and state police to buy surplus military-grade equipment at cut rates. The equipment includes automatic weapons, night-vision gear and clothing.

Police in Sahuarita, Ariz., paid $4,300 to outfit a Humvee obtained through the 1033 program. The New Bedford, Mass., Police Department in 2012 paid $2,119 for shipping costs for M-16s from the military.
In Brunswick County, N.C., $5,300 from asset forfeiture funds was spent on challenge coin medallions. The coins were to be shared with local residents or other law enforcement. (Brunswick County Sheriff's Office )
Dozens of sheriff and police offices paid a total of more than $100,000 for keepsakes known as “challenge coins” and lapel pins that they could share with one another and with local residents. 

Scores of departments spent money on vehicles. Many of them were typical police cruisers, but dozens were new and used sports and luxury cars, including at least 15 Mercedes, a dozen Mustangs, a handful of BMWs and two Corvettes. 
Because nothing says "Miami Vice" quite like your detectives jumping out of county-issued Corvettes.
“Our financial stewardship of our Seized Account Funds is in compliance with all Federal rules and laws, State rules and laws, County rules and laws, and we undergo audits of these accounts by local and federal agencies,” Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr., the Fairfax police chief, said in a statement. “Additionally, we are subjected to internal audit processes to review all requests for expenditures to ensure purchases are pre-approved for compliance.”
God how I miss/love police-speak. All of that jargon and gobbledygook is bureaucrat for "ain't nothing wrong with it 'cause we said so."

Actually, to understand the history of asset forfeiture, you have to go back to the mania of the Drug War of the 1980's, specifically the Reagan-era Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 (signed into law 30 years ago today).

This monster of a bill allowed for, among other things, the creation of the Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund and changed the burden of proof in asset forfeiture cases from beyond a reasonable doubt (which we use in criminal court against a defendant) to preponderance of the evidence (which we use in civil court against property).

The distinction is key: we aren't seizing a suspect's property, we're seizing property we think might be involved in the drug trade (suddenly, assets are no longer inanimate objects). Your rights to said property are irrelevant. It also allowed for "administrative seizure" of property/money less than $100,000 in value, so we don't even need a civil court's approval if your assets total less than a hundred g's. And if you don't sue the government within 30 days of your assets seizure to get it back, it's game, set, match the police.

As Christian Parenti noted in "Lockdown America" it allowed for a "drug loot bonanza" of theft by law enforcement, creating an "insidious police dependency on drug money" and a wild west mentality that anything goes in the name of stopping drugs, terrorism or illegal immigration.

Even in places like Braselton, Georgia, whose primary claim to fame prior to this story was the actress Kim Basinger's attempt to buy the city back in the 90's. Braselton has nothing of note in it, with the exception of a few miles of I-85 running through it (and a noted drug corridor).
The local department that makes the most consistent use of Equitable Sharing funds per capita is in Braselton, Ga., a town of about 8,000 people along Interstate 85 northeast of Atlanta. It has reported receiving the equivalent of 20 percent or more of its budget from  the Justice program in five of the past six years, documents show.

In some instances, town police help out on “whisper stops” after receiving informal tips about smugglers from the DEA, he said. Some of the seizures are made by the state patrol on nearby I-85, with help from Braselton officers, he said.

Braselton police also used seizure proceeds to build an enclosed shooting range used by local, state and federal authorities, including the Department of Homeland Security, which also contributed funding, Solis said.

“It’s legit. We’re not buying stuff just to buy stuff,” he said, adding, “We spend the money if we have it. . . . It’s pretty cool. We’re not only able to help us, we’re able to help others.”
Everyone's in bed with everyone, in this story. From the bi-partisan support of the CCA in 1984 to the cross-jurisdictional feeding frenzy of seized assets, asset forfeiture has become normalized in law enforcement today and even more so following the Great Recession and budgetary cut backs.

Local, state and federal government will get their operating budgets out of you, one way or another.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Trial of the Century

Standardized Test Cheating Trial Open in Atlanta:

The criminal trial of a dozen public school educators opened here Monday with prosecutors alleging that the teachers and administrators had engaged in a “widespread, cleverly disguised” conspiracy to cheat on standardized test scores in an effort to protect their jobs and win favor and bonuses from administrators.

It was a near-guarantee that the trial, which is expected to last three months or more, will generate more unpleasantness for these former colleagues at Atlanta public schools. The urban school district has already suffered one of the most devastating standardized-testing scandals of recent years. A state investigation in 2011 found that 178 principals and teachers in the city school district were involved in cheating on standardized tests. Dozens of former employees of the school district have either been fired or have resigned, and 21 educators have pleaded guilty to crimes like obstruction and making false statements.
Remember, this was the "crime of the century" that resulted at one point in more than 25% of the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) agents in the state working on the case. Apparently, other criminal activity had dried up and vanished that summer of 2011.
In a lengthy opening statement, peppered with both slangy Southernisms and pointed indignation, Fani Willis, an assistant district attorney in Fulton County, argued that the dozen educators in the courtroom, as well as Dr. Hall, had violated Georgia’s RICO statute, by using the “legitimate enterprise” of the school system to carry out the illegitimate act of cheating.

Whistleblowers who raised concerns about cheating were punished within the school system, Ms. Willis said. She also described cheating parties, in which educators erased wrong answers and replaced them with correct ones.

At some of them, she said, educators “ate fish and grits — I can’t make this up.”
That's not a little racist. And yes, you read that right, they used the RICO Act (normally reserved for organized crime, terrorism, drug cartels, and so on) and racketeering statutes to prosecute elementary school teachers for alleged erasure tampering (thugs, all of them).

I also love how Fulton DA Paul Howard is supposedly hanging his "legacy" on the outcome of this crime of the century prosecution.
The outcome of the trial is likely to define the legacy of District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., who has served as Fulton County’s top prosecutor since 1997. The district attorney’s official website describes Mr. Howard as “a visionary and trailblazer whose innovative ideas have left an indelible mark on the local justice system and on the community at large.”
LOL. See also: Ray Lewis, Brian Nichols, Asset Forfeiture Malfeasance, thousands of felony cases never prosecuted, ad nauseum.

What a circus. Make sure you stay tuned for every detail. And if you can't stay home watching it on t.v. all day, check back here and I'll have summaries over the next few months (not).

Sunday, September 28, 2014

They Learn From Us

One of the funnier things I've read about ISIS lately is that they adopted the brutal, graphic, violent methods they did in order to "shock and awe" American society and draw us into a conflict we are too weak to prevail in. Funny because I'm not sure how you can shock American culture through brutality or violence when we remain one of the most violent cultures on the planet. ISIS has a long way to go to catch up to the 16,000 American who are murdered by their fellow Americans annually, or 44 people EACH DAY killed right here in the good ol' U.S. (throw in suicides, and we take out an average of 150 fellow citizens each day via violence).

Further evidence that we are violent and getting more violent is the rise in mass shootings in just the last seven years. According to this new FBI report, the prevalence of spree and mass shooting has jumped from 6 each year to 16 per year, killing on average 50 people or more annually. Since 2000, spree or mass killings have killed or wounded over 1000 people.

A report released by the F.B.I. on Wednesday confirmed what many Americans had feared but law enforcement officials had never documented: Mass shootings have risen drastically in the past half-dozen years.

There were, on average, 16.4 such shootings a year from 2007 to 2013, compared with an average of 6.4 shootings annually from 2000 to 2006. In the past 13 years, 486 people have been killed in such shootings, with 366 of the deaths in the past seven years. In all, the study looked at 160 shootings since 2000. (Shootings tied to domestic violence and gangs were not included.)
And the police are powerless to stop them.
Many of the sprees ended before the police arrived, the report said. In 44 of the 64 cases in which the F.B.I. was able to determine the length of the shooting, the gunfire lasted less than five minutes. Twenty-three shootings ended in less than two minutes. In 64 of the 160 total cases, the gunmen committed suicide.

Just two of the 160 shootings involved more than one gunman, and six of the killers were women. Two of the twelve shootings that occurred at colleges or universities were by women.

Roughly 45 percent of the shootings occurred in offices or stores, and about 25 percent at schools or universities. Other sites included military bases, government offices, homes, places of worship and medical facilities. In 24 of the 160 shootings, the gunmen attacked more than one location. Mass shootings occurred in all but 10 states.
Interesting if you delve into the report, almost all the college, high school and middle school shootings were done by students who attended there; only the elementary schools involved deranged adults intent on wreaking havoc among the most innocent and unable to defend themselves.

Unfortunately the report doesn't have any other demographic information on the shooters themselves, which would help in profiling/prediction/prevention. My guess is that they were overwhelmingly white and working class/lower middle class disaffected individuals. The precise group which bore the brunt of the Great Recession layoffs and who have yet to return to full employment. Just a guess.

Bottom line: we sanitize our own violence and up-sell other cultures in order to assuage our collective guilt in the whole thing. Sure, we don't film and upload to Twitter videos of our crime scenes in the U.S. but can you imagine what that might look like if we did? Day after day, 45-150 times each day, law enforcement uploads still photos and video of every violent homicide/suicide death in the U.S.? The ISIS terrorists in their ninja turtle get ups would run for hills.