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Political Editors / Oct. 4, 2017

Beware Inflated Mass Shooting Stats

Using a dubious definition, the Times says there has been more than one mass shooting per day over the last 477 days.

Mass murders are shocking, leaving many people stunned and looking for answers and possible solutions. The New York Times, with its anti-gun agenda, would like people to believe that these mass shootings are not relatively rare events but are rather occurring at a frequency that borders on epidemic levels. Monday the editorial board of the Times ran a bare-numbers article entitled “477 Days. 521 Mass Shootings. Zero Action From Congress.” Here is yet another example of the Times playing fast and loose with both definitions and statistics in order to push an agenda rather than honestly present the facts.

In order to come up with these dubious numbers the Times played a schematics game. Using the anti-Second Amendment Gun Violence Archive’s politicized definition of “mass shooting” rather than the FBI’s official definition, the Times was able to massively inflate the number of “mass shootings.” For the Times, a mass shooting is defined as involving “four or more people injured or killed in a single event at the same time and location” [emphasis added]. The FBI’s definition is three or more people killed in a single event.

Second, the Times piece does not further delineate the numbers to include the FBI’s definition of “active shooter,” which is an “individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” As a result, the FBI numbers on mass shootings differ significantly from those reported by the Times. From 2014-2015 the FBI recorded 40 active shooter situations that lead to 92 deaths. Over that same period of time the Gun Violence Archive claimed that there were 607 “mass shootings.” Are mass shootings at epidemic levels in America? According to the facts, the answer is no. But when has the Times ever let the facts get in the way of its leftist agenda?

Finally, speaking of this bias, in its reports this morning, the Times still includes the assailant among its count of the victims, noting the assault was “one of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States, which left 59 people dead — including the gunman.” To include the assailant in the count with the people he murdered is unconscionable and is profoundly offensive to the families of his victims. But the Times’ editors are in such a vacuum that they are unable to discern why this is not acceptable. The same goes for other Leftmedia outlets that will continue to use the wrong death toll in the coming days.

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