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Professor James Alan Fox Ph. D.


James Alan Fox
Board of Contributors

USA Today

April 19, 2024
25 years after Columbine shooting, schools are safe despite public perception of danger
Although understandable, our response to school shootings − requiring students to participate in active shooter drills, arming teachers − is out of proportion with the actual risk.

September 7, 2023
Jacksonville shooting has already faded from memory. Victims deserve better from the media.
I watched the marathon coverage and was disturbed by the representation of the assailant as a powerful individual armed with a deadly weapon, a hero for like-minded hatemongers.

August 8, 2023
As students head back to school, should parents worry about shootings? The math says no.
Students and parents are worried about mass shootings as the school year begins. But the math says indiscriminate shootings aren't as common as we think.

July 9, 2022
Why mass shootings fear is so pervasive: misleading statistics and marathon news coverage.
Amid confusion about what constitutes mass shootings vs. mass killings, fears are not always consistent with the risk.

Feb. 16, 2022
COVID-19 disruption, crime wave, 'defund police' mantra help fuel recent cop killings.
Instead of calls to 'defund the police,' our focus should be: What do we want the police to do, and how do we want them to do it?

USA Today Oxford Michigan School Shootings

Jan. 14, 2022
We've taught kids to fear school shootings. But lost sight of how uncommon they are.
We must be concerned not to instill fears in students that are well beyond the actual level of risk.

Nov. 19, 2021
In a win for victims and facts, Alex Jones is being held accountable for misinformation
As a result of Monday’s ruling by a Connecticut judge

Oct. 4, 2021
COVID pandemic and isolation likely pushed spike in 2020 homicides and assaults
Pandemic's unique impact brings aberration in overall crime not seen in four years, and in homicides not seen in decades.

Oct. 3, 2021
RFK's murder is a crime that devastated America. Deny parole for Kennedy killer.
Sirhan Sirhan is eligible for parole because of quirk in law. While I believe in 2nd chances, California governor must ensure justice is maintained for heinous crime.

Apr. 17, 2021
Indianapolis FedEx massacre: Workplace violence is rare
Most of these disgruntled workplace avengers believed that they were the victim of injustice and mistreatment on the job.

Apr. 17, 2021
MLB needs to invest in youth to keep baseball alive
As the baseball fan demographic gets older, MLB needs to be investing in youth and diversity.

Mar. 26, 2021
You're right to be confused about the number of mass shootings
The risk is of being killed in a deadly and indiscriminate massacre is exceptionally low.

Feb. 26, 2021

Immunization not ammunition: School safety means fewer guns.
New research shows that armed guards inspire more schoolyard bloodshed.

Jan 22, 2021

Mass killings Dropped in 2020 Repudiate right-wing extremism to continue the trend.
There is now growing concern over the threat posed by heavily armed, white supremacist groups. We can't risk a repeat of hate-inspired massacres.

Joe Biden

Oct 30, 2020

Donald Trump is wrong again: Joe Biden was right on crime in 1994
It is true that Joe Biden backed the 1994 crime bill, but there is more to the story.

Aug 19, 2020

Mass shootings: Limiting magazine capacity saves lives and doesn't infringe on gun rights
Large-capacity magazines hardly seem essential for self-defense, and our research shows they increase fatalities. We should have a national sales ban.

June 12, 2020

Don't defund all police, but keep police out of schools. Kids will do better without them.
Education needs to shed school resource officers and the criminalization of student misconduct. This would be an investment in success for all kids.

May 5, 2020

Canada bans assault weapons after mass shooting. The contrast with US inaction is painful.
Large capacity magazines are the real culprit on lethality. If Trump could be convinced to turn against his NRA pals, he should limit their size.


December 18, 2019

Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' had promise. Why'd he have to spoil it with falsehoods?
In a movie, you have to keep things interesting. But does that have to include making up damaging details about a real person?.

JFox USA today

December 3, 2019

When it comes to mass shootings, the panic is what's fueling the crisis.
It's time for us to get responsible in the way we cover mass shootings and the way we discuss them as a society.

August 19, 2019

Trump plan to head off mass killings is wishful thinking despite latest success
Let the lasting legacy of the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton be something positive through improved mental health services and more sensible gun laws.

August 9, 2019

Media should spend less time humanizing shooters with unnecessary details
The style of television news reporting as these tragedies unfold inadvertently contributes to the contagion of killing.

July 23, 2019

Kyoto Animation arson killings didn't get much attention because we couldn't demonize guns
The Kyoto Animation killing left 34 dead, but it didn't have much impact because we don't pay attention to mass killings without guns.

June 3, 2019

Virginia Beach shooting: Cover gunmen, but don't turn them into celebrity role models
The problem starts when potential copycats learn about a killer’s personal disappointments. In the carnage, they see a victory for the little guy.

May 24, 2019

Joe Biden reduced murders, reformed criminal justice policy and made America safer
Joe Biden deserves credit, not criticism, for all that he has done throughout this career to reduce and assist the number of crime victims.

Apr. 19, 2019

Columbine tragedy 20 years later:
Despite fears, risk of dying in school shooting is low

Obsessing over the risk and frequent reminders that a Columbine-style shooting could happen anywhere do more to elevate fear than alleviate it.

Mar. 15, 2019

Media amplifies New Zealand shooting suspect's 'manifesto,' giving mass killers a platform
A mass killer doesn't want to be remembered as just some nut.

Mar. 13, 2019

House firearms background check proposals won't stop gun violence, but they'll help
Despite the limitations inherent in any screening strategy, we should at least make it more difficult for prohibited individuals to acquire a firearm.

Feb. 20, 2019

Military-style guards with guns in schools across the nation wouldn't protect students
Even after Parkland, Santa Fe shootings, military-style guards don't make sense for schools. They'll create an environment of fear more than safety.

Dec. 21, 2018

No names or photos won't stop mass shooters, but we shouldn't humanize them with details.
Names and faces are not the problem, but the excessive and often irrelevant details about the killers and their writings unnecessarily humanizes them.

Sept, 26, 2018

The crime rate was lower last year than previous years. Donald Trump can't take credit for that. He was just lucky to be in office when it happened.
The crime rate was lower last year than previous years. Donald Trump can't take credit for that. He was just lucky to be in office when it happened.

August 6, 2018

America's increasing moral panic over active shooters is overblown and counterproductive
Active shooter situations have become the latest moral panic. FBI data and news coverage blow attacks out of proportion, causing us to fear the rarest of events.

June 7, 2018

De(ja)Vos: Education chief's decision to ignore guns' role in shootings echos Bush debacle
Video games, mental health — the NRA-backed Trump administration will do anything to make sure guns don't enter the school violence conversation.

June 5, 2018

New research shows red flag gun laws save lives, but they stop suicides, not mass shootings
These laws save lives. When it comes to extreme risk protection orders, both red and blue states on board — but they're not the whole answer.

May 18, 2018

Danger in overreacting to Santa Fe school shooting.
The community of Santa Fe gathered for a vigil to honor the victims of Friday's shooting at Santa Fe High School.

February 23, 2018

Trump's awful plan to arm teachers is straight from the NRA playbook.
Trump's embrace of  'scholastic carry' is a recycled NRA talking point from 2012. And it's still a really bad idea.

February 19, 2018

School shootings are not the new normal, despite statistics that stretch the truth.
If you think that our schools are under siege like never before, take a statistical trip back in time.

December 14, 2017

Five years after Sandy Hook, active shooter drills do more harm than good in schools
Five years after the Sandy Hook massacre, efforts to improve mental health care for young people have had mixed results.

November 15, 2017

Domestic violence is a tragedy. It's not a predictor of mass murder.
Texas Public Safety authorities say the Sutherland Springs church shooting appears to have stemmed from a "domestic situation." It's not the first domestic incident involving suspected gunman Devin Kelley.

November 9, 2017

Will concealed carry stop next Sutherland Springs slaughter in gun-toting Texas?
It is far from clear whether Sunday morning cross fire would be safer for churchgoer

October 3, 2017

How do we prevent future Stephen Paddocks? After Vegas, way forward fraught with problems.
Investigators believe Stephen Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino days before the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Here's what we know about the suspected gunman.

October 2, 2017

No, the Las Vegas attack wasn't a 'new normal'
What is horribly normal are the dozens killed by guns every day in far less spectacular ways.

July 20, 2017

O.J. gets an early release, but the real guilty party is the fawning media
O.J. Simpson said he's ready to 'spend as much time' as he can with his friends and family while on parole.

June 15, 2017

James T. Hodgkinson showed all the signs before he shot Rep. Steve Scalise
Illinois man displayed common factors among mass shooters, but many people do without becoming killers.

June 6, 2017

Imagine if London terrorists had guns and Orlando shooter had only knives
Donald Trump didn't feel the need to say anything, even in a tweet, about a mass murder in his own country.

March 1, 2017

Five flaws in Trump's crime agenda
Trump’s sly strategy of making America scared again has paid off handsomely.

January 11, 2017

Dylann Roof got what he asked for - death
Dylann Roof never showed remorse for killing nine churchgoers at Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
Life in prison would be better for white supremacy martyr wannabe.

January 4, 2017

Guns, road rage and a tragic trend
When it comes to driving, "gunning it" should be about horsepower, not firepower.

December 7, 2016

Could we let the mob decide parole?
Americans believe they know better than the parole board. But that's dangerous.

Sept. 27, 2016

Crime fear focus at first debate
Trump did his best to scare people while Clinton focused on facts.

July 31, 2016

Concealed carry on campus is a bad idea
Texas law takes effect on 50th anniversary of massacre that showed citizen shooters didn't help.

June 19, 2016

As the next mass shooting looms
New gun laws likely won't prevent massacres, but there are other good reasons to pass them.

June 12, 2016

Hate doesn't have to be terror to kill
Knowing the Orlando shooter's motive needn't shape how we respond to his murderous rampage.

June 2, 2016

UCLA shooting pushes panic button
Broad 'active shooter' warnings fuel hysteria more than boost safety.

February 29, 2016

Defending Hillary Clinton for her use of the term “superpredator” during a 1996 speech
The Democratic front-runner wasn't demonizing black youth in 1996, and black voters know it.

February 18, 2016

Soft on crime turns out to be smart on crime
As U.S. repudiates war on drugs, finds innocent men on death row, states recognize 'lock 'em up' policies fail.

December 7, 2015

You're not about to die in a mass shooting
Only an absurdly broad definition yields media-touted statistic of hundreds of mass shootings per year.

December 3, 2015

In San Bernardino, focus on the murderous partnership
Most mass killers are enabled by social isolation, only rarely do pairs bring out the worst in each other.

October 2, 2015

Umpqua shooting - a tragedy, not a trend
Another mass shooting sears deep into our collective consciousness, but it is hype and hysteria on the rise, not violence.

September 27, 2015

NFL arrests overhyped
Study reveals football players less criminal than general population.

August 25, 2015

Aging our children
Court is not the only arena where it’s criminal to be treated as an adult.

August 9, 2015

Police recklessness, not racism
It's high time for the visually impaired to collectively demand fairness in flying.

July 26, 2015

Airports are blind to fliers like me
It's high time for the visually impaired to collectively demand fairness in flying.

July 12, 2015

Better background check wouldn't have stopped Charleston
Mass murderers will find a way, no matter how restrictive the law.

June 18, 2015

Churches, like schools, give haters an exact target
Last night's deadly massacre at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.

June 4, 2015

No, there's no new murder epidemic
This year's increase is next year's drop.

May 15, 2015

Tsarnaev death expensive justice
We don't need to kill to make a point.

May 6, 2015

Remember moms behind bars
Children are innocent victims of the justice system when mothers are incarcerated.

April 8, 2015

Why Tsarnaev should not get the death penalty
Bomber's guilt never in doubt, but life without parole will let him fade into obscurity.

March 16, 2015

Why trying kids as adults unjust
Slender Man case latest example. Studies show young suspects think differently from adults.

February 24, 2015

Guns don't deter sexual assaults
Advocates seize on college rape debate, but concealed weapons are not the answer.

January 6, 2015

Will marathon bomber trial bring closure? 
Not always. A Tsarnaev plea deal of life without parole would have been best for all.

December 8, 2014

Make school security invisible
As Sandy Hook anniversary nears, there are new approaches that don't traumatize students.

November 19, 2014

Lovesick over Charles Manson. Really?
Mass murderer's wedding plans not that unusual. These killers often attract 'groupies.'

October 23, 2014

Serial killers find prostitutes easy prey   
Indiana case reflects a tragically common trend of picking victims who get less attention.

August 24, 2014

Sandy Hook no reason to scare kids to death The frightening realism of school shooter drills outweigh the benefits of preparedness.

August 10, 2014

Sex assault surveys not the answer
Instead of Senate proposal, coaching college students on prevention is more effective.

July 28, 2014

Death penalty becomes cruel and usual

Arizona's two-hour execution the latest example. And sympathy seems in short supply.


July 13, 2014

Texas slaughter doesn't count for too many
We don't feel threatened by killings that take place in private so we focus elsewhere.

May 26, 2014

Why mass killers need to explain their plan
Like the accused Rodger in his video and treatise, most shooters want to justify actions.

April 14, 2014

Focus on marathon resiliency, not tragedy
Anniversaries of tragedies too often relive horrors rather than celebrate resiliency.

April 6, 2014

Quit abusing 'active shooter' term 
Fort Hood is latest example of unnecessary panic created by misuse of this terminology.

February 17, 2014

Moms, mayors offer misguided message on guns
Their rate of more than three incidents per month is lower than 20 years ago.

December 11, 2013

Nancy Lanza was a victim, too
Despite criticism that she ignored warning signs or was an enabler, she did her best.

October 22, 2013

Nevada school shooting shows limits of security
Instead of arming teachers, restrict access to guns of young people.

September 24, 2013

Mentally ill doesn't mean murderer
Mass killings calls for focus on mental health for wrong reasons.

September 17, 2013

Mass murders less frequent than we think
Despite tragic Navy Yard shooting, number of mass killings each year remain static.

August 29, 2013

Don't give Hasan the martyrdom he wants
Why give Fort Hood shooter the death penalty he seeks? Let him suffer in obscurity.

August 22, 2013

Okla. killing fits 'shared misunderstanding'
Motivation in group kill typically goes deeper than a temporary thrill.

August 13, 2013

Bulger deserves to be forgotten
The crook shouldn't be glamorized by movies and media attention.

July 9, 2013

Boston bombing suspect's fate
Statements from victims' families should not guide prosecution strategy or sentencing decisions.

May 7, 2013

Let family bury Tsarnaev's body
Flap over what to do with suspected bomber's corpse does not reflect well on my hometown.

April 23, 2013

The Tsarnaevs' deadly brotherhood
Understanding alleged bombers motivation requires us to examine human need for belonging.

April 15, 2013

Marathon bombings could impact outdoor events
Though details remain sketchy, marathon violence will influence how we choose to live.

January 16, 2013

President's plan won't stop mass killings
Too many guns are already out there, but violent crimes can be lowered.

December 16, 2012

Keep Conn. shooting in context
Some in press asked if it was a record. But is any spree any less tragic.


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