Mass shootings aren’t on the rise

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Think you’ve heard this before?

Dennis E. Florianby Dennis E. Florian
Gun Owners’ Resource

“Mass shootings are on the rise.”

It’s the gun grabber’s favourite boogeyman.  More lunatics going, well, looney in public means we need Big Daddy Government® to rush in and take away all the guns from the people who didn’t do it because one of them “might just snap” at any moment.  Right.

Never mind the fact that nobody ever “just snaps.”  In the aftermath of every shooting, people are left looking at the background of a deeply disturbed individual and asking themselves “how the hell could nobody have seen this coming?”  There are always plenty of signs beforehand.  Even when the signs are noticed, as in the case of the Isla Vista sho0oter, nothing becomes of it; nothing is prevented.

Based on the conversations that always follow these tragedies, you could be forgiven for thinking that the US — and to a certain extent, Canada as well — was as dangerous as ever and that, if anything, it was becoming even more lawless than our previous misconceptions had led some to believe.

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Thankfully, the cold hard numbers of the matter tell a different story.  And it’s a lot better than the gun grabber loving MSM would have you believe.

[For the purposes of this article, we’re going to define the term “mass shooting” fairly broadly — that is to say, any shooting incident with four or more injuries or fatalities.  -Ed.]

Let’s begin with a recent article from New York Magazine:

 It’s clear that there is no major upward trend. And slicing the data differently doesn’t make a difference — Fox said that since homicides are on the downswing in general, the overall shape of the graph wouldn’t change much if you changed the definition of a mass shooting to, say, three victims or more. There isn’t even any upswing in the number of school shooting victims, at least based on the Department of Education’s own official statistics (PDF).

Well, at least that’s good news.  So why do we have the impression — and keep hearing from the MSM — that mass/school shootings are spiraling into the stratosphere?  For one, the media plays a huge role, for better or worse.  Not that many years ago, something that happened half a continent or farther away would be barely a blip on an individual’s day to day radar.  Now, news explodes onto the national stage in minutes and then gets put through the bullhorn of every imaginable bit of social media from facebook to twitter to God only knows what.  These days, news travels at the speed of light no matter what it is or where it’s from.  Brittney Spears cracks a loud fart 5,000 miles away and you know all about 10 minutes later.  The problem is that BS travels through the same lines: from the Lebanese ambulance hoax to the Duke lacrosse case to Manti Teo’s dead ungirlfriend, time and again we see that a lie can get round the world before the truth can get its pants on.

While mass shootings haven’t increased, reporting of them has ballooned by an order of magnitude, and that does have an effect on perceptions.  It’s called the availability heuristic and basically it means that, the more often you hear about something, the more common you will think it is, regardless of its actual frequency.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the credulous sycophantry of the MSM towards towards gun grabbers.  CNN recently unquestioningly regurgitated propaganda provided by a gaggle of gun grabbers called “Everytown for Gun Safety” (a Bloomberg-backed bunch; go figure) that so grossly inflated the number of school shootings (claiming 74 since Newtown) that the network was forced to correct the numbers later and cut the claimed stats by 80%.  Think about that: eighty percent. It’s not as if they didn’t know the data was coming from a viscerally biased source, that could at least blunt their culpability a little.  But no, they knew exactly where it was coming from:

The statistic came from a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella group started by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a passionate and public advocate of gun control.

And CNN wasn’t alone in willfully spreading that FUD; outer outlets cheerfully gobbled it up and puked it back out on cue without so much as batting an eye.  The Daily Mirror has done so within  the time that it’s taken me to type out this God damned article!  And they say gun owners are being paranoid whenever we point out bias in the media…

At the risk of making a bad joke, it’s not paranoia if they really out to get you.


Dennis E. FlorianWhile his stuff does get syndicated every now and then, Dennis E. Florian only writes for Gun Owners’ Resource — which is probably just as well, because he isn’t all that good.

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