” The findings from two separate reports released in the last month—one by the FBI and the other by progressive investigative media outlet Mother Jones—have been offered up as evidence that “mass shootings” are occurring more frequently than ever. The truth, however, is a little more complicated.
To be fair, the authors of the FBI’s “active shooter” report explicitly cautioned their study was not about mass shootings, although this caveat was later ignored in much of the news media’s coverage of it. But a recent article in Mother Jones asserted that we have “entered a new period in which mass shootings are occurring more frequently.” This report relied on the well-known list compiled by Mother Jones, which has been one of the key sources used to support the claim made in the last few years that the incidences of mass shootings have accelerated.
There are some problems with the Mother Jones list, however, when comparing it with data I’ve collected on mass killings. In my research on mass murder, which has resulted in four peer-reviewed academic publications and a book, I’ve identified more than 1,200 mass killings that have occurred in the U.S. since 1900. Of these cases, 161 were mass public shootings, which I’ve defined as incidents that occur in the absence of other criminal activity (e.g., robberies, drug deals, gang “turf wars,” et cetera) in which a gun was used to kill four or more victims at a public location within a 24-hour period. Aside from a few minor differences, this definition is largely similar to the one ostensibly used by Mother Jones.”
Read the rest at Reason and see that what has changed is not the frequency of shootings but the media’s preoccupation with them . That couldn’t be agenda-driven now , could it ?