Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Michael Karson, Ph.D., J.D., A.B.P.P.

Second Advisor

Jennifer Tippett, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

Chad D. Waxman, Psy.D.


Mass shootings, Mass violence, Tribalism, Social trauma theory, Society, Responsibility

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


What is a mass shooter? This is difficult to answer as there is no single definition. The definition of a mass shooter depends on contextual factors including victim count, setting, and motivation (Gramlich, 2019). The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines active shooters as “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2021, page 1). While other definitions are used to identify a mass shooter, given the breadth of study in this area by the FBI, this paper will use the FBI definition.


30 pgs

Paper Method

Theoretical Analysis and Synthesis