Is there a rise in gun violence?

April 5, 2009 5:43:20 PM PDT
Just a week ago, a lone gunman opened fire inside a Carthage nursing home. Days later, there was another mass shooting in Binghamton, New York. Then there was news of more in Pittsburg and Washington State.One estimate says 49 people have died in mass shootings across the country in the last month - eight of those just last week in our area. Despite that news, one expert says we're actually safer now than we have been in years past.

Dr. Michael Teague is a forensic psychologist in Raleigh. He says while shocking, the string of shootings lately doesn't show that we’re any less safe than before.

"I think this does scare people," he offered, but he says it's very rare. "We have far more people being killed in traffic wrecks."

Teague believes those behind mass shootings are usually depressed.

"Life's not perfect for any of us, but yet in these cases, they just constantly keep making the wrong mistakes, irritating people, treating people wrong, not having respect," he explained. "You think 'Hey if I'm hurting, then they need to hurt.'"

He says there may not be warning signs with a mass killer, but the public should never be afraid to live their daily lives.

"I would want to calm the public down. The odds of any of us getting killed in a mass killing are way less than getting hit by lightening," he said.


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