What has changed since the first modern mass shooting 50 years ago?

(CNN)By now, it's a tragically familiar storyline.

An angry, armed white man unleashes a hailstorm of bullets on a group of random innocents, leaving behind carnage, shattered families and questions about how it could have been prevented.

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    Decades of data show that on average, children born in the United States in recent years have "loftier expectations" of personal success, including fame and fortune, than previous generations, Lankford wrote in "Fame-seeking rampage shooters: Initial findings and empirical predictions."
    "When you have more people over time who want to be famous and this particular type of crime is the only way to guarantee you'll be famous -- unless you have exceptional skills or exceptional luck -- that creates a deadly combination."
    Though Adam Lanza and one other shooter have named Whitman as inspiration for their crimes, according to Lankford's research, the killers most commonly cited as inspiration are Columbine High School shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

    Signs of progress

    The fame-seeking copycat theories are compelling, given that not much else has changed in terms of causes of gun violence. Whitman is believed to have suffered from mental illness, just like many of today's mass shooters.
    Otherwise, it's impossible to say what could have prevented the Tower shooting, but it's clear that law enforcement today are better prepared for these scenarios. They have advanced communication systems instead of hand-held radios, tactical training and weaponry -- lots of it, too much for some people, Maitland believes.

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    Other changes since Whitman's time give Maitland hope. The one thing he heard over and over in dozens of interviews with witnesses and survivors was how they wished they had someone to talk to after the shooting.
    "I think that's a big change in the last 50 years. After mass shootings these days, there are grief counselors and all kinds of opportunities for individuals to approach their experience and work through the trauma via counseling and treatment.
    "It's incredibly difficult to process this kind of trauma. But I think that's a definite sign of progress," he said. "I wish there were more."

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/11/health/tower-documentary-shooting/index.html