When a man walked into a birthday party in Colorado Springs, Colo., over the weekend, killing six people and then himself, it was the deadliest mass shooting in the state since March, when a rampage at a grocery store left 10 people dead.
We’re just 18 weeks into 2021, and already the U.S. has experienced 194 mass shootings. That averages out to about 10 a week.
The tally comes from the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, excluding the shooter. The full list can be found here.
That’s more than one a day.
We’ve become very ho-hum about it. I guess because there’s only so much tragedy (global and personal), disaster, anxiety, and stress that a person can absorb and process.
Careful with the stats. A ‘mass shooting’ is one in which at least four people are shot. I’m going to guess that the majority of ‘mass shootings’ are gang war related.
Also, there is huge variance in statistics for such shootings:
So what the hell is with the gun violence archive? They seem to have violated the rule of counting ‘mass shootings’ as four or more people. When you apply that criterion, their number drops from 342 to 24, which is still almost five times higher than Mother Jones. Digging further into the linked study:
So in other words, they twisted the data as much as they could to come up with the biggest number they could. This is close to lying with numbers.
And why am I not surprised that NPR decided to use the outlier number in their scare headline?
As a comparative data point, on this side of the puddle that would make it the deadliest mass shooting in the country since Osmington in May 2018 which in turn was the worst mass shooting in the country since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.
I’m sure there’s nothing of significance to draw from that.
No, AFAICT from this Rand report, the main difference is that Mother Jones restricts the “mass shooting” designation to incidents in which three or more victims died (excluding the shooter). GVA counts nonfatal injuries in mass shootings, so naturally they’re going to have far bigger numbers.
I don’t consider it necessarily “twisting the data” to count nonfatal mass shootings as well as fatal ones. It’s important to identify what criteria a study is using to select what it’s counting, but there’s nothing wrong with deciding to use a different set of criteria from the one used in a different study.
Poppycock. If they clearly identify what it is they’re counting (and the ambiguity over whether a shooter is counted among the victims is the only statistic you’ve mentioned that might not be consistently identified), then they’re not doing anything remotely close to “lying with numbers”.
And why am I not surprised that you choose to quibble impotently about numbers/definitions when there is no dispute over the FACT that more often than EVERY SINGLE DAY in this country somebody opens fire on a group of two or more people and shoots. Usually killing at least one person, often more. That’s the “scare headline,” and it’s real.
To answer my own question: why am I not surprised? Because I’ve observed how you operate, although for the life of me, I can’t figure out to what end.
What is different about today’s gun supporters versus thirty years ago is that they seem to now consider such mass shootings to be simply the acceptable price America must pay for their gun rights. They don’t even bat an eye at such shootings. They think having a Parkland, Sandy Hook or Columbine every now and then is just the 2nd Amendment’s unavoidable side effect that’s not worth doing anything about.
I am not saying all gun folks are this way, nor pointing at anyone in this thread. But many definitely do. Their response to the carnage is a shrugging so what?
Brcause facts and numbers matter. When an organization says there were 352 mass shootings, and the real number bh the accepted definition is more like 2-11, that’s just a huge lie.
To be clear, what they consider to be a ‘mass shooting’ is one in which four people or more are killed or injured, including the shooter. So for example, if someone robs a store and shoots three people, then a cop shoots the burglar, that’s considered a ‘mass shooting’ by the gun violence database. If two gangs shoot at each other and four people are wounded and no one dies, the GVD still calls that a ‘mass shooting’.
But when the average person hears ‘mass shooting’, they are thinking spree killer shooting up a school or other public place with the intent to kill as many as they can. So a headline lkke, “There were 342 mass shootings in America last year” is wildly misleading. Most people would not think of a,convenience store robbery or a gang drive-bynto be a ‘mass shooting’. And it’s also why other groips like Everytown or Mother Jones get numbers that are more like 11, or 5. They’re at least being honest.
It’s funny how you are extremely picky about facts when they support the other side, but when your side lies with numbers we get, “What difference does it make? We all kmow guns are bad.”
Personally I find it funnier how when your side’s assertion are debunked, you simply keep repeating them as if they hadn’t been and continue to build strawmen. Your desperate spin has already been shown to be fundamentally flawed - perhap you might consider being a little pickier with facts yourself.
A convenience store robbery in which three or four people get shot is to me a pretty bad thing, and that’s a risk people like me may well encounter; a gang drive-by in which multiple random passers-by are hit is likewise a “mass shooting” as far as I’m concerned because innocent people just going about their day find their day abruptly ended. It’s not somehow “better” to be a four-year-old shot while toy-shopping in Times Square just because the gunman probably wasn’t really trying to kill as many as possible.
Gang-on-gang violence in which only gang members are at risk is a separate category, but much gangland violence hurts and kills people who aren’t in the gang and did nothing wrong (besides be in the wrong place at the wrong time). Multiple innocent people getting shot up is a mass shooting.
As long as the source laying out the number also lays out their definition, this seems fine to me. The problem with gun violence in America is not really the killing sprees – those just get the headlines. It’s the day in, day out injuries and deaths due to guns.
“I like X, I see value in X and it is important to my life. I am a responsible X, I would never harm anyone because of X myself, and I don’t think I should have to go without X just because other people are not as responsible with their own X. Yes, X does lead to violence and death in the hands of other people, but I believe the benefits are worth the cost to society and this is just part of living in a free society.”
For some people, X = legal alcohol use. For others, X = private gun ownership. And of course, many reasonable people would hold the same opinion on both topics.