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No, There Has Not Been a Mass Shooting Every Day This Year

 
 
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 04:50 pm
No, There Has Not Been a Mass Shooting Every Day This Year. This inflated stat all over the media isn't just misleading—it's stirring undue fear.

Quote:
Take a moment to consider what type of violent event that headline just brought to mind. The places and horrifying attacks you likely recalled surface instantly for most of us when we see or hear the term "mass shooting"—Columbine and Virginia Tech. Aurora and Sandy Hook. Charleston and San Bernardino.

Even as these mass shootings have grown more frequent and loom large in our consciousness, they are a tiny fraction of America's gun violence and remain relatively rare. Yet many news outlets keep declaring that there have been upwards of "355 mass shootings this year" or "more than one mass shooting per day." Many gun control advocates say the same.

This wildly inflated statistic isn't just misleading the public—it's stirring undue fear and may be encouraging bad policies.

Everyone is desperate to know why these attacks happen and how we might stop them—and we can’t know, unless we focus on useful data.
In fact, there have been four mass shootings this year. Or, if you count using the federal government's current criteria—three or more victims killed in an indiscriminate public rampage—there have been six mass shootings this year.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 16 • Views: 8,175 • Replies: 101

 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 05:07 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I think that there is a huge amount of undue fear going on, and I think that is scarier than some of the original worries.

Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 05:25 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I thought I'd misheard it when it was first mentioned on the BBC, and wondered how it could possibly be that bad.

The other 'stats' that I've read are:
1) 100,000 people are hit by gunfire in the United States every year, of whom 32,000 die.

2) More people (over 400,000 more), have been killed by guns since 2001 alone than America lost in the whole of World War 2.
This is more than all the other 20 richest industrialised countries in the world, combined.


Is this also BS?

Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 05:34 pm
@Lordyaswas,
Just found this.

No idea whether it is a recognised site or one run by the usual conspiracy theorists, but if it is accurate, well....... 336 in 2014.

http://www.shootingtracker.com/wiki/Mass_Shootings_in_2014
Lordyaswas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 05:44 pm
And as for 2013....



"We've Had So Many Mass Shootings In The U.S., We've Had To Redefine The Term"......
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/mass-shootings-us_n_3935978.html


Snippet :
"The growing number of mass killings over the past five years left the country in search of a term that would distinguish mass murder by gun from those using other weapons. Mass shooting has gained favor as the obvious choice. Though the FBI doesn't specifically define mass shooting, it does define mass murder, calling it a single incident in which a perpetrator kills four or more people, not including himself or herself.

The FBI defined mass murder to distinguish it from serial murder. That definition provides the basis for the unofficial definition of mass shooting that has gained use in recent years. Mother Jones explained the definition in an extensive "Guide to Mass Shootings in America," writing that mass shootings typically involve a single episode in a single location, usually a public place. The Mother Jones definition of mass shooting matches the FBI definition of mass murder in that it includes single incidents that kill at least four victims.

Over on Reddit, the Guns Are Cool community has compiled a list of every mass shooting in the United States this year. The moderators of the subreddit, which doesn't actually appear to be of the belief that guns are cool, use an expanded definition of mass shooting, listing every event in which "four or more people [including the shooter] are shot in a spree." Under the Reddit definition, a shooting spree that wounds at least four people, but doesn't kill them, is still a mass shooting.

Including Monday's mass shooting, the Reddit list for 2013 is nearing 250 incidents. That's an average of one mass shooting almost every day....."
Robert Gentel
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 05:54 pm
@Lordyaswas,
This is the exact source of the bullshit the article is calling out. The members of that forum redefined the term to reach those numbers and media started quoting it.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 05:56 pm
@Lordyaswas,
It also uses a different definition of mass shooting (e.g it includes many cases where nobody is killed).
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 05:59 pm
@Lordyaswas,
I am not arguing in favor of guns and am talking about a specific BS stat, so I'm not going to debate the larger gun violence topic here. There is no denying that the US has a large problem with gun violence and mass shootings are also on the rise (slightly). I am just debunking a currently popular example of lying through statistics.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 06:29 pm
I agree that people on both sides of gun control exaggerate statistics and facts. I occasionally fall for a few. Nobody can take away everybody's guns, no matter how many laws get passed. But I feel we need to enact some controls to try to tone the violence down and that the ARA should be somehow controlled a bit.
engineer
 
  6  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 07:14 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

It also uses a different definition of mass shooting (e.g it includes many cases where nobody is killed).

So why does it matter if someone is killed as opposed to just being injured? You are saying that if one of the victims of the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting had survived so that two were killed and 10 injured then that wouldn't count as a "mass shooting". How does that make sense? The intent was clearly to kill and the injured suffer the consequences. Here is the start of the Wikipedia entry on Mass Shooting. Interesting that the FBI definition is for "mass murder". The other "unofficial" definition makes more sense to me. It doesn't really matter if the person dies if that was the intent of the shooter.
Quote:
Mass shooting refers to an incident involving multiple victims of gun violence.[1] The Congressional Research Service acknowledges that there is not a broadly accepted definition,[2] and uses a definition of a "public mass shooting"[3] if 4 or more people are actually killed, not including the perpetrator, echoing the FBI definition[4][5] of the term "mass murder". Another unofficial definition of a mass shooting is an event involving the shooting (not necessarily resulting in death) of four or more people with no cooling off period.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 08:46 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
So why does it matter if someone is killed as opposed to just being injured?


It matters in that the federal definition of this crime never included such situations (or situations of non-indiscriminate shooting) and criminologists understand significant differences between them (and a situation in which 5 people are killed is significantly worst than one in which two are wounded). I'd have a similar qualm if they were called "spree killings" incorrectly.

Any shooting is a bad thing but the nature of someone doing a drive by at their rival gang without killing anyone is not at all the same as things like school shootings.

They have very different dynamics and are very different problems to solve.

Edit: I also think that the general public understands "mass shootings" to be more of the Sandy Hook variety than the gang violence variety (which they have more ability to avoid vs indiscriminate violence) and that the public fears much more than non indiscriminate shootings.

I think that definitions like this are always going to be a bit problematic, your example fits the bill for the type of crime this term seeks to describe but you have to draw the line somewhere in terms of volume to distinguish what constitutes "mass".
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 08:47 pm
@edgarblythe,
I'm not arguing against gun control, though I see no prospect of the USA enacting significant gun control anytime soon I think it would be a good thing (though not a dramatic as many may think). I'm arguing against using a term that people expect to describe mass shooting of the Sandy Hook type for quotidian gang violence. Both are still bad but there are differences for a reason. Criminologists understand very different dynamics between spree killing, mass killing etc.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 10:09 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Yes, I understand. My statement is based on arguments with other people, not your statements and I should have clarified that.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 10:16 pm
@engineer,
It feels like they're trying to use the definition of mass murder to replace mass shooting. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 10:17 pm
@Lordyaswas,
It really is pretty awful.

We get hung up for a week here when one person is stabbed (and dies).

That sort of thing doesn't even seem to cause a blink in the US.
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 10:28 pm
@edgarblythe,
Here are some facts for the N R A and the gun nuts to be proud of.
352 mass shootings
462 people dead from them
1314 wounded from them

NO FUKING LAWS ABRIDGING MY SECOND ADMENDMENT RIGHTS, no matter how many have to die for my right to kill.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 11:53 pm
People dont shoot people.
People use a gun to shoot people.

When was the last mass stabbing and how many did they kill?
When was the last mass shooting that was stopped by one of the many citizenry who have armed themselves in the hope of gunplay?

It is easy to lie with statistics, but even lies can point out a deeper truth.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 10:54 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

It also uses a different definition of mass shooting (e.g it includes many cases where nobody is killed).

Dunno why your definition of "mass shooting" is any more valid that someone else's definition of "mass shooting."

Lordyaswas
 
  3  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 11:17 am
@DrewDad,
I see no ambiguity with the meaning of a shooting in this context.

It is when someone gets shot. Whether they die or not makes no difference to the classification, apart from maybe the word fatal being included.

I think the argument revolves around when "mass" should be added.

As far as killings are concerned in such single incidents, the FBI seem to have deemed that four or more deaths warrants the classification of mass killing.

If that is the case, I am mystified as to why four or more people being shot and injured in a single incident should not warrant a classification of mass shooting?





manored
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 12:10 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

I think that there is a huge amount of undue fear going on, and I think that is scarier than some of the original worries.
I agree. As of late I have been seeing a lot of stories of children in the US being humiliated in school because someone, sometimes even another kid, says the're planning some kind of attack and the school goes full ballistic without any kind of double-checking whatsoever. That's a Soviet Russia level of paranoia.

DrewDad wrote:

Dunno why your definition of "mass shooting" is any more valid that someone else's definition of "mass shooting."
The problem isn't whose definition is or isn't valid. The problem is when some dudes compile statistics using a very loose definition that counts things such as gang shootouts in the middle of the night, and the media agencies quote those people without clarifying the definition the're using at all, leading people to believing the're talking about the common sense definition of "a person with psychological problems walks into a place armed and kills a lot of people randomly". Its just plain misinforming people, and misinforming people leads them to making or supporting bad decisions in the future.

I personally feel its just part of the greater problem of new agencies in general being far more interested into getting attention than actually informing people, and being willing to lower themselves to literally spreading misinformation to achieve that.
 

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