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Study: U.S. Home To A Third Of World's Mass Shootings

According to a 2016 study, up to a third of the world's mass shooting from 1966 to 2012 took place in the United States.

The study, which comes from the University of Alabama, defines a mass shooting as one that wounds or kills four or more people, CNN reports. Although there is a debate as to what exactly defines a mass shooting, under this particular definition, then, America has been home to over 136 mass shootings in this year alone.

With only 5 percent of the world's population, the U.S. reportedly was home to around 31 percent of the world's mass shootings. Not only that, but the three deadliest shootings in U.S. history have also occurred only in the past 10 years. June 12's terror attack in an Orlando nightclub is considered to be the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States, with 49 people dead and at least 53 wounded. The 2007 Virginia Tech shooting is considered the second deadliest mass shooting with 32 killed; the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre is the third deadliest with 27 killed.

America is also the number one nation for firearms per capita, with citizens reportedly owning over 270 million guns. As reported by the Washington Post, most mass shootings are carried out with guns that were legally obtained by the shooter. 

Despite the prevalence of mass shootings in recent history, Americans are still firmly against gun control. Gallup polls have shown that from 1990 to 2014, more and more Americans believe in their Second Amendment rights.

"Less than half of Americans, 47%, say they favor stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, similar to views found last year," Gallup reported in 2014, according to the Post.

It is currently unclear whether or not public opinion regarding gun control will change after the Orlando nightclub shooting. But shootings, with the exception of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, don't generally affect views on the Second Amendment, the Post notes. Surveys from the Pew Research Center, which were conducted at different times between 2004 and 2014, showed that Americans are more in favor of gun rights than gun control and believe that owning a gun will help prevent all types of crime, including mass shootings.

Sources: CNN, The Washington Post / Photo Credit: Karsun Designs/Flickr

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