Someone told me that people of a certain skin tone commit mass shootings, but I was skeptical.

By the way, a popular definition of mass shooting is 4 or more people killed by a gun. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_shooting

definition of a "public mass shooting"[3] if 4 or more people are actually killed, not including the perpetrator, echoing the FBI definition[4][5]

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    In which country?
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 0:32
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    If you broaden the question to "mass murders of Americans", the largest mass murders were committed by Arab Muslims (on 9/11/2001) and blacks (at Jonestown, Guyana). Notice that box-cutters (or planes) and poisoned Kool-Aid can be more effective mass murder weapons than guns.
    – Jasper
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 5:17
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    @Jasper that's a very specific 'changing of the question'. Also, Jim Jones was white.
    – user1530
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 1:31
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    As for this question, mass shootings simply aren't a big enough occurrence for there to be any statistically valuable data inferring skin color plays a factor.
    – user1530
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 1:32
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    @blip -- I did not know that Jim Jones was white. Also, the Jonestown camp doctor (who allegedly prepared the poison) was Lawrence Schacht, who was also white. I don't know who physically coerced reluctant victims into taking the poison.
    – Jasper
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


I should have read the page more. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_shooting#Perpetrators

according to a database compiled by Mother Jones, the race of the shooters is proportionate to the overall US population, although Asians are overrepresented and Latinos underrepresented.[31]


Well I'll be...

I found that someone made a chart while I was searching for a chart for a different reason. https://archive.org/details/Cmx4pI0UIAEvwZI

Mass Shootings By Race Per Capita

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    Nice that you find it, but be beware of statistics with a small sample size because they might not be representative enough. In those it is very easy that, just by statistical noise, the results vary wildly. To put an example, you can separate the data in 5 years periods, and you will find that in 2011-2016 there were 45% white murderers but in 2001-2006 there were 85% white murderers. This type of variation would suggests that each 5 year period does not have a data sample big enough to be representative.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 0:33
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    TLDR; in statistics, a mean value is meaningless unless you know the confidence interval for a given error probability (any poll saying that candidate Y will get X votes actually tells, in the fine print, something like "we are 95% sure that the candidate will receive at least X-error votes and at most X+error votes")
    – SJuan76
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 0:36

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