There is a meme that is being pushed by the left, where they claim that there have been 300 mass shootings in 2015 alone. The supposed source for this little talking point is a website called shootingtracker. Lets take a look at where shootingtracker got their data from, shall we?
The data came from news sites all over the country, which hardly makes the data accurate or scientific. There are a number of issues with the data, including the following:
1 To be counted, the story had to claim that four or more people (including the shooter) had to be injured or killed. Note that this doesn’t mean that anyone had to have been actually shot. If a guy fired a gun into the air inside of a crowded shopping mall and four people were injured trying to flee, this would count as a mass shooting, even though no one was actually shot.
2 They included ANY shooting where 4 or more people were injured, including murder suicide. So if a mother went nuts and shot herself after bludgeoning her children to death inside of her own home, this would count as a mass shooting.
“the killing of four or more individuals occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders.” (emphasis added)
Using this definition, there are far fewer mass shootings. Mother Jones, hardly a bastion of far right thought, used this definition to determine that there have only been 73 mass shootings since 1982. That is 2.2 mass shootings per year. Granted, this year has seen 4 shootings, which is more than the average, but this is not unprecedented. There have been more than 4 mass shooting a year several times during that period: 2013, 2002, and 1999. Even the Huffington post admits that violent crime is at a 50 year low.
To make the problem look worse, President Obama signed a law in 2012 that reduced this definition to three killed.
4 The agreed-upon definition of an active shooter used by U.S. government agencies for decades—including the White House, U.S. Department of Justice/FBI, U.S. Department of Education, and
U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency—was
an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and
populated area. Implicit in this definition is that the subject’s criminal actions involve the use of firearms.
The gun grabbers that run shootingtracker are claiming that the FBI is wrong, that the definition of a mass shooting should include any incident where 4 or more people are shot, because whether or not they die is not relevant, only the fact that they were shot should count. Even using this metric, they are grossly inflating their numbers, as most of the news articles that this ‘study’ is based upon do not state the mechanism of injury for the injured parties. This means that a person who was not shot, but twisted his ankle in an attempt to flee the shooter is counted towards the statistic.
In order to see the manipulation a bit more clearly, let’s look at the data for my state of residence, Florida. The site claims that there were 27 mass shootings in 2015. The problem is that nearly all of these shootings were gang ind drug related. For example:
One of the shootings from January was an incident where 2 men in Lakeland tried to rob a drug dealer, a fight ensued, and 4 people wound up getting shot. Both the robbers and their drug dealing victims were convicted felons with lengthy criminal histories that were illegally in possession of drugs and firearms. In fact, the police identified gang or drug activity as being the cause of 13 of the 27 shootings.
One of them didn’t happen in Florida. It was a shooting that took place in California.
One was a murder suicide, where a husband shot his wife and the man she was having an affair with, before shooting himself. One bystander was hit as well. In fact, three of the 27 shootings were murder suicides, where the victims (with the exception of the lone bystander already mentioned) were all related to the shooter, including one case where a 60 year old woman killed her daughter, also shooting her 4 grandkids, killing three of them.
In eight shooting incidents, the shooting was the result of a fight or argument that started in a bar or a party, where the aggrieved person produced a gun and began firing.
In one case, police didn’t even know if anyone was shot. They could not determine the cause of the victims’ injuries.
There was only one shooting where the shooter randomly shot at people in what the FBI would classify as a mass shooter, and that shooting resulted in one death and three injuries.
Another interesting statistic is this:
20 of the 26 shootings involved drugs or alcohol.
In 3 of the shootings the shooter’s race was unknown, and in the 18 of the remaining 23 shootings, the shooter was black.
In the 7 shootings where a suspect was arrested, the shooter was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm in 4 of them, meaning it was already illegal for him to possess a firearm.
We have a gang problem. We have a drug problem. We do not have a problem with mass shootings. The “facts” in this meme that is being circulated are misleading and, in some cases, false.
It must be deliberate.