In a follow up to yesterday’s post…
The Gun Violence Archive is claiming to be a non-partisan repository of “gun violence” and also states that they are not taking sides, but want to encourage debate. They are being used to support the fantasy that the USA has had over 1,000 mass shootings in the past 1,260 days.
In order to have an unbiased discussion about mass shootings, it is helpful to agree on a definition. The Congressional Resource Service (pdf warning), an office of the Congress of the United States, uses the same definition as the FBI:
There are three categories of these types of incidents:
These are incidents occurring in relatively public places, involving four or more deaths—not including the shooter(s)—and gunmen who select victims somewhat indiscriminately. The violence in these cases is not a means to an end—the gunmen do not pursue criminal profit or kill in the name of terrorist ideologies, for example.
A spree killer is differentiated by the shooter killing in multiple locations over a relatively short period of time.
A serial killer is a spree killer who kills over a long period of time, ranging from days to even decades.
Let’s look at the accuracy of that claim and the accuracy of the data. Here is the “mass shooting page” of the Gun Violence Archive. The first few shootings are listed as:
The first thing that we notice is that they are NOT using the same definition for “mass shooting” as the US Congress or the FBI. If I were to guess, I would suspect that they are using the much looser definition of the Bloomberg funded anti-gun groups, which are using the definition of “any shooting involving 3 or more people whether or not all of them are killed, or even shot.” In other words, they don’t get the desired results, so they move the goalposts.
Let’s look at the first incident on the list: It is a case where 4 people shot each other inside of a meth lab.
The second listed incident involved 4 family members in the same house. Another version of the same incident gives two of the victims’ names. I looked up the first name, and what do you know, he is a violent felon with a long history of arrests for drugs, violence, and firearms violations. I’m betting that drugs are involved. Even so, only two killed, not in a public place, victims not random= not a mass shooting.
The third shooting on the list occurred in Roanoke, Virginia. That location has had three shootings in the past few months. Still, no one was killed, so not a mass shooting.
The fourth shooting listed was a man who was targeting individuals over a large area. He drove around and shot 4 different people, but still not a mass shooting.
The fifth shooting on the list still isn’t a mass shooting, but one thing that I do want to note is from this story about the shooting:
A father of seven and a woman are dead after a weekend shooting at the Garlington Heights apartments in Waycross, Georgia.
Waycross police said Cameron Wilkins Jr., 21, and Felicia Williams, 32, were killed Saturday. The two people who were injured were not named.
Cameron was recently released from jail and was trying to get his life on track, according to his family.
Aren’t they always? These are not mass shootings. They are just criminals taking each other out over gang affiliations or drug turf.
The anti gun crowd knows that most people don’t care if one gang member or drug dealer takes out another. So, just like the confusion between machine guns and AR-15s, they hope to redefine the term “mass shooting” into something else, no they can mislead an uninformed electorate into voting for something that they don’t want.