In 2022, public mass shootings continue to present a serious societal challenge in the US. This year has already experienced over 500 mass shootings. These incidents include gang shootings, disputes at bars and clubs, and what is frequently referred to as incidents of targeted violence. Targeted violence incidents such as school shootings are often viewed differently than other forms of instrumental violence, such as premeditated gang violence. However, the separation between these incidents is not as clear as is sometimes presented. Although some argue that domestic extremists and gang members are vastly different, recent research indicates that some domestic extremists (although less than 6%) have at some point been involved with criminal gangs. This is further complicated by the complexities in defining what some extremist groups are, especially domestic hate-based organisations that are sometimes described as gangs, such as the Proud Boys. Additionally, gang prevention strategies often influence preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) and targeted violence prevention efforts in the US.
As complex as the intersection between gang violence and ideologically motivated violence is, the overlaps between non-ideologically driven, nihilistic, grievance-driven targeted violence and gang-related violence may present even more intense complexity. This challenge is demonstrated in the recent mass casualty attack in Memphis, TN, which can be described as a series of random shootings conducted in different areas of the city.