Following a weekend of multiple “mass shootings,” the liberal media rushed to exploit the dead to push their demands for increasingly-unpopular gun control legislation. To scare people, they used a dubious analysis to claim that there were between 130 and 148 mass shootings in this year.
It begs the obvious question, if that were true, then why has only a small fraction been covered nationally? The simplest explanation is there haven’t been that many mass shootings and they’re being inflated to make things seem more horrendous than they really are.
When reports of a “mass shooting” break, the common understanding is that a person went to a public place (school, shopping center, est.) The person started to shoot indiscriminately in an attempt to kill as many people as possible. But what the liberal media are currently citing is data from the Gun Violence Archive, a supposed “independent” aggregator of incidents involving guns.
“And as the overall number of shootings have increased, there’s been a dramatic rise in mass shootings,” reported ABC’s Pierre Thomas on Monday’s Good Morning America. “Look at these numbers. Gun Violence Archive reports that there were 417 mass killings in 2019. The number of mass shootings in 2019 was 417, but it jumped to 693 last year. That’s an incredible 66 percent jump.”
“We’re now in an era where we can say mass shootings are chronic, sustained, and sadly routine,”He also included a graphic that stated there were 139 in the year so far.
According to their website, the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), uses this peculiar definition of “mass shooting” for their methodology: “FOUR or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location not including the shooter.”
Last year, Northeastern University’s James Alan Fox, a mass killings researcher of over 40 years, said the data GVA puts out is “confusing to people.” He explained the group took the definition of mass killing, which at the time only counted the dead, and decided to throw in the wounded as well. Breaking down the GVA’s numbers, Fox noted: “On average, there’s one person killed per case. In half of all cases, there is no death. And three-quarters, it’s either none or one.”
“And there has been some increase but marginal,” he said of the total number of incidents. “The kind of shootings that people really think about the public massacres – on average, there are about a half-dozen a year. There were 10 in 2018. And in 2019, I believe there were nine … in a population of 330 million people, you certainly can’t call the actions of 9 or 10 people an epidemic. It’s still a rare event.”
Adding: “Juxtapose that with the fact that ‘oh, there’s over 600 mass shootings last year,’ according to the Gun Violence Archive, that’s where people get the exaggerated view of the risk.”
Now let’s look at GVA’s methodology again. The GVA admits that it deliberately removes context from the data they collect.
Gun violence will be defined as including all gun-related incidents.
“Only by being totally inclusionary in our definitions is our data accurate, allowing the researcher to decide which parts of the complete dataset they need for their work,”The anti-gun leftists willing to lie for their gain will be able to add.
NewsBusters reached out to the founder of The Reload, Stephen Gutowski to get an understanding of where this definition of “mass shooting” CVA uses came from. He says it was “popularized by gun-control activists on Reddit” and it “increases the number of mass shootings by a factor of ten or more.”
“It can also be misleading for most readers since many of the mass shootings are not similar to high-profile shootings like Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, or Parkland,” he warned.
On Monday’s CBS MorningsThe increase in gun violence was attributed to increased gun sales in the aftermath of the pandemic. But Gutowski told NewsBusters he doesn’t buy that explanation because most of the guns recovered weren’t sold in the last two years:
But correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, and evidence is lacking to prove that one causes the other. We determine gun sales by looking at background checks that people have passed to purchase firearms. The surge in gun sales is attributed to those with a clean criminal record. ATF trace data also shows that most of the guns found at crime scene scenes are many years old. The time taken to complete a crime did decline last year but it is still very high.
NewsBusters reported that NBC did not report consistent mass shooting figures a little longer than a decade ago. They claimed that there had been 307 mass shootings in 2018 at the time they reported it. In their report for 2021, however, they stated that there have been only 114 shootings since 1999. CNN also tried to exaggerate school shooting statistics in 2018 by including accidental discharges in training exercises for police officers on school grounds.