CAMBRIDGE, MA—Stressing that it was by no means an ideal solution to the issue, a report released Tuesday by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that an inability to keep track of all the nation’s mass shootings still counts as denying shooters the attention they crave. “With the sheer number of massacres occurring across the United States, our failure to focus long on any individual attacker has, in its own way, prevented these killers from gaining notoriety,” said comparative media scholar and report co-author William Uricchio, adding that the average citizen’s capacity to remember discrete instances of mass murder reached a saturation point around 2013, and since then no single rampaging gunman stands out much from the others like him. “We’ve seen a remarkable decrease in the public awareness of a given shooter’s name, his motives, and the ideology he subscribes to—as well as the fact that his attack took place at all. At this point, the vast majority of Americans can only recall the names of a couple dozen cities where the deadliest shootings have taken place. While this isn’t exactly what was intended when critics argued we should stop giving a platform to perpetrators of large-scale gun violence, we nonetheless appear to be achieving this end.” The report also noted that the readership of online manifestos penned by mass shooters has decline by more than 95% over the past decade.
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