School shootings are the subject of debate in the media and in communities across the United States, and there is much discussion about prevention and the root causes of such attacks. But what does research say about these tragic events and their perpetrators? Do all shooters fit a specific profile? And what meaningful steps can schools and communities take to reduce the likelihood of these events?

In concise, clear language, this research brief describes and refutes five common misconceptions about school shootings and suggests an evidence-based strategy to reduce the probability of attacks.

The authors conclude that schools and communities are better served when presented with a balanced perspective informed by the wealth of available research about perpetrators, their varying motivations, and pre-attack behaviors.

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