Common Targets for Mass Shootings

As inconceivable as it may seem, mass shootings are becoming a way of life in the United States. The growth in the number of mass shootings over the years will shock even the most cynical among us.

Mass Shootings are on the Rise

A report on mass shootings in the US, conducted by Mother Jones magazine, shows that between 1995 and 2005, there were 18 mass shootings resulting in 235 victims either killed or injured. Those numbers, at that time, seemed high and incomprehensible.

Fast forward to 2016. The recent shooting of 12 police officers in Dallas, TX where five were killed, and seven were injured with still two more civilians being injured, caps off the last ten years of significantly increased mass shooting incidents.

In the last decade, including the Dallas shooting, the United States has experienced 44 mass shootings with 748 victims. That is a growth number of more than double from the past decade.

There are things you can do to educate yourself about mass shootings. Which locations are the most vulnerable for a mass shooting attack and what can be done to prepare?

Most Common Targets

While it is nearly impossible to predict where a mass shooting event will occur and how, there are trends in typical target locations for these types of shootings. Mass shootings fall into two basic categories; public and private. According to a 2013 FBI report, the breakdown of target areas is as follows.

  • Commerce – 45.6%
  • Education – 24.49%
  • Government – 10.0%
  • Open Space – 9.4%
  • Residences – 4.4%
  • Houses of Worship – 3.8%
  • Health Care Facilities – 2.5%

Preparation and Protection

It is terrifying to think about the possibility of your home, place of business, or favorite hangout being the target of the country’s next mass shooting. There are some things you can do, however, to aid in the safety of yourself, your co-workers, family, and friends.


  • Conduct a threat assessment.
  • Conduct active shooter drills.
  • Develop and implement a safety and security
  • Involve law enforcement agencies
  • Invest in quality security protection services.


  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
  • Take note of the two nearest exits.
  • If you are in an office, stay there and lock the door.
  • If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door.
  • As a last resort, attempt to take the shooter down. When the shooter is at close range, and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her.
  • When it is safe to do so, call 911!

Implement Your Plan of Action with USSS

Though you cannot predict where the next mass shooting will happen, you can be free from living life in fear. Our team of highly-trained professionals with extensive backgrounds in military and law enforcement can assist you in preparing for the worst.

We are the real deal!  Contact us for help or more information about common targets for mass shootings and how to be prepared.