Dr. Jacquelyn White, a senior research scientist at UNCG, was interviewed by WFMY News 2 about the increasing number of mass shootings in today’s society.

According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder , White said, the average number of mass shootings in the U.S. has tripled in recent years.

“The yearly average of mass shootings has tripled from an average of five per year between the years of 2000 and 2008,” White said. “At least 12 mass shootings have taken place in 2013.”

That said, White added, “Such incidents account for less than 1 percent of the nation’s firearm-related deaths. Mass shootings receive intense media coverage, generate understandable public alarm, and appear to fuel the purchase of firearms.”

White reminded viewers that public mass shootings are rare. “The most recent available evidence documents that daily deaths from firearms averaged 54 suicides, 30 homicides, and more than two unintentional deaths, with the total of firearm-related deaths for the year equaling 19,766 suicides, 11,101 homicides, and 851 unintentional deaths.”

White talked about gaining perspective on the violence of mass shootings and mentioned mental health services as an important step in addressing the issue.

“Many professionals are actively working to address the issue. Reach out to policy makers and voice support for strategies to protect the health of the population, particularly the need for adequate funding for mental health crisis services and the importance of not stigmatizing vulnerable populations,” she said. “A continuum of mental health services to meet the needs both of persons with severe mental illness and of persons in emotional crisis is essential to firearm violence prevention, including threat assessment methods for use once an individual has been identified as making or posing a specific threat of violence, including firearms violence.”