New “Rapid Mass Murder” Research from Ron Borsch

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Topics: Articles

  • SumoMe

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Cleveland-area police trainer Ron Borsch has been a friend of mine for many years.  Ron has studied the “active killer” phenomena in greater depth than anyone I know.  He recently published his latest statistical analysis of such events.


Ron prefers the more descriptive term of “Rapid Mass Murder” over the traditionally-used terms like “active shooter” or “active killer”.  Ron defines a “Rapid Mass Murder” (RMM) as “Four or more people being killed in less than 20 minutes in a public location.”  That encompasses most active shooter events as well as includes events where the killer used a weapon other than a firearm.


Ron’s statistics through November indicate that 2012 will set a new record in numbers of RMMs.   From 1975 through the Columbine massacre, “successful” and attempted RMMs in the US and abroad averaged one per year. Post-Columbine through 2010, the yearly average was four. Last year there were eight, and the total for 2012 through Thanksgiving was 9.


Some additional research you may find interesting (quoted directly from Ron’s newsletter):



Before investing in any theory or propaganda, enlightened administrators and trainers should exclusively examine only successful aborts. “Stopping the killing” only occurs in slightly over half of “Rapid Mass Murder”© incidents. Significant, documented, verifiable, and repeatable research has identified what strategies and tactics work in stopping the killing. In summary, they are:


1. Citizens, mostly unarmed, perform two thirds of all “Rapid Mass Murder”© aborts.

2. In citizen aborts, initiation by a single citizen stops the killing eight out of ten times.

3. Law enforcement performs one third of all “Rapid Mass Murder”© aborts.

4. In law enforcement aborts, initiation by a single officer stops the killing seven out of 10 times.



Where do RMMs occur?

38% Schools, (Pre-school and K-12)

17% Colleges and Universities

10% Church/Religious facility

8% Restaurant/Coffee House

6% Mall/Shopping Center

4% Hospital/Nursing Home

3% Military Base/Facility, tied with Bus Stop/Train


Most Dangerous Months for RMMs

“Our Post-Columbine data indicates that March, (23%), and April (16%) have been the most dangerous months, followed by a 3rd place tie, (11%), between September and December. February and June were tied, (7%); July, August, October, and November were also tied, (5%). January was 6th, (3%), and May has been relatively safest in 7th or last place, (2%).”


In looking at Ron’s research, it is clear that time is of the essence in stopping an active shooter.  As cops, we need to be training in single officer response tactics.  If a single unarmed citizen stops more than half of all rapid mass murders, why are we cops (who have pistols, rifles, and armor) waiting outside until we can get a “team” to confront the shooter?  We really need to change our thinking about this type of response.


We also need to be providing armed citizens with “advanced CCW” classes that prepare them to deal with an active killer.  There is far more likely to be an armed citizen already on the scene of a rapid mass murder than a uniformed cop.  We need to empower those folks with the knowledge they need to neutralize the shooter.





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7 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Peter B says:

    Found this part especially interesting:
    38% Schools, (Pre-school and K-12)
    17% Colleges and Universities
    10% Church/Religious facility
    All 3 of which are areas that concealed handgun licensees are prohibited from carrying in Ohio. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to just stand there and be killed, but I’d sure like to have my pistol and a couple of spare magazines if the worst happens.
    And yet, it is such a struggle to get the legislature to understand why we disagree with statutory CPZs (criminal protection zones)
    Working on campus, I think about this from time to time.

    • ferndale says:

      that’s 59% of incidents in pistol free zones in michigan. for all the stupidity our legislature has shown recently, at least they’re considering an enhanced cpl for another 9 hours of training.

    • JMD says:

      If you consider that in many states it’s illegal to carry a gun in a school, university, church, restaurant that serves alcohol, hospital, military base, and even some chopping areas, you could have over 75% of RMMs occurring in “gun-free” zones. I can’t conceive of why any rational legislator would think that creating “gun-free” zones is a good idea.

  2. Rob says:

    A most interesting point, Peter. I must agree. For your church, make sure you have a church home with a progressive pastor who understands this data, and grants you permission to carry. More importantly, organize intelligent, like-minded and trained church goers to form a formal security team. Protect your flock. In my church, we have an excellent, armed team that includes many LEOs, and trained CCWs. We wear ear-pieced radios when serving, and our pastoral staff are trained to react and respond as well. Thanks for the data, Greg. Always excellent. – Rob

  3. RMH says:

    Where is the actual original report? I’d like to see the data he’s basing this on.

    • LogicBob says:

      Yeah, I really want to read the original report as well.
      Thank you!

    • Greg Ellifritz says:

      Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been vacationing in Honduras without reliable internet.

      The original data was published in Ron’s email newsletter. It was also reported in the Force Science newsletter. If you don’t subscribe to the Force Science research, they post past issues of their newsletters here

      Ron’s research should be archived here soon.

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