Why does the media portray mass shooters as mostly white men?

TIL that a majority of mass shooters are black. I was genuinely shocked. Is this being largely ignored by the media out of political correctness, or because of a lack of concern for black victims?

cant read NYT. Can you summarize?


How about some excerpts?

There is a huge difference between mass shooters and gang violence, which seems to be what your article is describing. I suggest this is why blacks are not associated with mass shootings in the media and in social perception.

That’s right. “Mass shooter” evokes the guy in the Las Vegas hotel window, shooting down at concert-goers, or the disgruntled worker, working his way through his office building.

And those have overwhelmingly been white guys.

Without having read the NYT article; I can say, it depends on how you define mass murder. This article from the Center for Inquiry says

So, I think you may be on to something. The mass murders that seem to catch the public’s eye and thus more media attention are the ones that seem random and therefore more sensational, and are committed more often by whites. Felony mass murders do get plenty of attention, however, they just seem to be viewed as a part of the crime problem that seems to be plaguing this country. Not a separate and sensational outlier.


Here’s a long article that’s not paywalled.

My reading of the article above acknowledges that yes, black people are responsible for most ‘mass killings’ but they come under the category of felony killings. Total mass killings by blacks are 37% (family, felony and public)

White people are more highly represented in the family and public killings, and are responsible for 40.06% (family, felony and public combined).

This is not an analysis of what most people would describe as “mass shooters”, which I think are incidents with more deaths. The NYT looked at 358 shooting incidents in 2015 where there were 4 or more casualties (not deaths), including the initiating shooter (462 dead, 1330 injured).

The relatively recent “mass shooting” phenomena typically refers to the mass killings done for reasons of ideology or rage at society (or some aspect of society). Not gang violence.

MC, look at my excerpts. Most of the killings are classified as not being part of a crime but rather are ginned up by arguments and perception of petty slights, fueled in part by social media.

Not overwhelmingly. from that same article i quoted
Its 49% white to 31% black for public shootings.


You seem to be cherrypicking criteria to keep the mass shooter profile white. If a mass shooter belonged to the KKK, would you also not count it? :dubious:

And only a third of these shootings were associated with gangs anyway.

SlackerInc I think both our cites are saying primarily the same thing.
I’m on my way out the door so I cant continue this debate right now, sorry. i’ll check back later.


And even there, the black shooters are nearly three times the proportion that African Americans make up of the overall population.

KKK/white supremacists mass shooters act for ideology – which was one of the categories in my post. That’s different than street crime (which includes but is not limited to gang violence – I shouldn’t have limited it to gangs).

Street crime has always been around. There’s nothing new about those shootings. The “new” type of shooting (which isn’t exactly new but has become far more common in the last 20 years or so) isn’t for reasons of crime (personal gain, or covering up for personal gain, or reprisal killings associated with criminal activity, etc.), but for reasons of rage at society – for ideological reasons, or for some feeling of personal aggrievement, or both.

You’re the one who introduced the “mass shooter” concept without defining it precisely; and then linked to an article that notably does not use the term, since it is not analyzing what most people think of as “mass” shootings. Leading to many responses questioning that aspect of your OP - that’s entirely on you.

Nobody’s denying that a disproportionate number of black people are the perpetrators and victims of gun violence overall. So what, exactly, is your point?

This really shouldn’t be surprising. Sad as they are, and sad as it is, street crime killings, even with multiple victims, are not usually considered big news. “Mass shootings” – this relatively new phenomena (in frequency) that is generally an angry young male outcast shooting a bunch of people (sometimes strangers or sometimes school/work acquaintances), either for ideological reasons (race/ethnic/etc. hatred) or for personal feelings of grievance, or both (like incels), are big news (though a lot less big than 20 years ago, considering their frequency).

It’s analogous to occasional airplane crashes being big news, while a vastly greater number of car crashes go unreported precisely because they are so common; while the latter kill far more people in aggregate.

Further – it’s big news, I think, because it’s so pointless. There’s no obvious reason for it – no drugs/money/valuables to steal, or rival gang to intimidate, or witnesses to silence… just white-hot, unfocused but murderous rage. It doesn’t make much sense, but it’s devastatingly harmful. That’s going to get a lot more attention that killings for much more mundane and intuitively understandable (if not justified) reasons, because things we don’t understand are scarier than things we do.

What does the OP think is the reason? Surely they have one if they started this topic. Is it PC gone wild?