It seems like we can’t go a day without the media hyping up yet another story about yet another mass shooting. The media loves to make evil people famous. And when they start sharing numbers and stats about these shootings, a distracted populace believes them without question.
On November 8, 2018 – the day after the heartbreaking Thousand Oaks shooting – Denver Channel 7, USA Today, Yahoo, and several other mainstream news outlets released articles claiming that there have been 307 mass shootings in the United States during 2018. Rally for our Rights decided to look into this and what we found surprised even us. The American public is being grossly lied to – and they should care.
In order to determine how many mass shootings there are, we need to know the definition of a mass shooting. Finding that definition seems easy enough, right? Think again. There are actually many definitions of “mass shooting” and most seem to be arbitrarily made up to fit the narrative an organization or publication wishes to push.
Mother Jones defines mass shooting as: “Indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed by the attacker, excluding the death of the attacker.”
The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as: “Four or more shot or killed, not including the shooter. They also do not remove any subcategory of shooting – meaning they don’t exclude, set apart, caveat, or differentiate victims based upon the circumstances in which they were shot – including crime, gang activity, and domestic/familial incidents.”
The “experts” at Reddit have decided to make up their own definition, therefore Reddit defines a mass shooting as: “Four plus people injured or killed by firearm, including the gunman.”
Finally we come to the Congressional Research Service’s definition: “The incident takes place in a public area involving four or more deaths—not including the gunman, the shooter selects victims indiscriminately, the violence in these incidents are not a means to an end.” It should be noted that CRS breaks up shootings involving four or more individuals as public, familial, and felony (robbery, gang activity, etc). This is because the motives behind each vary greatly.
To make matters even more confusing, the FBI has separate definitions for “mass murder” and “active shooter”.
There are several inconsistencies between each of these definitions. For such a severe issue that allegedly only occurs in the United States, why do we not have a universal definition for this type of event? And why is it the government can agree on the definition, but the gun grabbers won’t use it?
For the sake of this investigation, we used the definition put forth by the Congressional Research Service. The CRS’s website explains that it “works exclusively for the United States congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and members of both members of the house and senate, regardless of party affiliation.” The website further explains that the CRS is a “shared staff to congressional committees and members of congress. CRS experts assist at every stage of the legislative process.” To put it simply, congress uses the CRS’s research to develop policy and create laws.
Now that we’re “armed” with the facts we need, lets dissect the statistics being pushed by the media.
The stats used in the news sources cited above stating there have been 307 mass shootings thus far in 2018 are from the Gun Violence Archive. Okay, let’s look a little deeper into the GVA. The mission statement on their website states it is a “non-profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun related violence in the United States.”
We dug into the website’s “mass shooting” report for 2018. We filtered the list by lowest deaths to highest. Immediately 11 out of the 13 pages were disqualified, as there were between 0 and 3 deaths per incident. That means right away, 287 incidents out of 307 do not qualify as a mass shooting by definition. In fact, 155 of these incidents resulted in zero deaths. This is unbelievable.
That leaves only two pages to dig through. The most common theme with the remaining list of incidents is that they were primarily either family or domestic violence related. Using the definition used by the CRS, that removes all but six shootings that actually count as a public mass shooting. Yes folks, there have only been SIX mass shootings this year in the United States – not 307.
Here are the six qualifying incidents:
- February 14, 2018, Broward County Florida (Parkland), 17 dead, 17 injured.
- April 22, 2018, Antioch, Tennessee, 4 dead, 3 injured.
- May 18, 2018, Santa Fe Texas, 10 dead, 13 injured.
- June 28, 2018 Annapolis, Maryland, 5 dead, two injured.
- October 27, 2018, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 11 dead, 7 injured.
- November 7, 2018, Thousand Oaks, California, 13 dead, 2 injured.
Six mass shootings compared to 307 is a substantial difference. The media easily plays off the ignorance of the public, taking advantage of the fact that there is not a universal definition of “mass shooting”, and blowing up an issue that, although very tragic, is only part of a larger picture of violent crime, most of which does not involve firearms.
WHY THIS MATTERS
This clearly shows that the media has a blatant disregard for the truth. They either have an ulterior motive in what they report, or they are too lazy to verify what is being given to them. It’s likely a bit of both, but the former is rather frightening. They are manipulating the general populace by creating hysteria through a skewed mass shooter narrative. This in turn will influence public opinion, and ultimately public policy.
Rally for our Rights founder, Lesley Hollywood, released a poll on her Facebook page in coordination with this article. Lesley was curious what the general public thought had happened when they heard the term “mass shooting.” Out of 508 votes, nearly half of the individuals who participated thought a mass shooting was like what happened in Parkland, FL or Thousands Oaks, CA – not the definition being used by the Gun Violence Archive or many of the others.
This manipulation of perception and public opinion will ultimately be used to conjure up reasons to demonize guns – portraying the objects as evil, with the means of using a lie to go after your ability and your right to keep your family safe and yourself safe. It also misses the mark terribly at addressing WHY these tragic incidents are happening, and how we can prevent them without infringing on the rights of the law abiding.
*This article has been updated to include the Annapolis, MD incident on June 28, 2018.
20 thoughts on “You’re Being Lied To About Mass Shootings – And It’s Worse Than You Think”
You’re an idiot!!! We have to ratify that amendment. Guns kill people, bottom line.
A gun is resting in my nightstand, the gun hasn’t killed anyone yet.
If you don’t value your civil rights be it right to not be searched without a warrant, or freely express your views. Then don’t bother people who do value their civil rights.
Stop trying to take away people’s civil rights.
You’d be a bootlicker if you were living under a dictatorship.
And spoons make people fat. Cars make people drive drunk.
Also if you result to name calling it just means your argument is weak.
You’re sooo on it! Just the other day I saw 3 guns escape from the gun store and assemble themselves into a much bigger, meaner gun that ran around town terminator style killing anyone named Sarah Connor! Guns kill people, bottom line! I think I hear some right now trying to shoot thru the pads of the cell next to mine!
Holy crap, the 6 guns I have at my house have killed people? Oh wait, they haven’t because they are in a safe, but I bet if I laid it on the counter it would get up and start murdering people on its own right? Guns are tools, they require a user.
F, you get an “F” for ability to be reasonable. Very well written article, with sources. I’ll go hug my guns now. Though, I did leave them alone all day.
cars kill people. bottom line. lol
Lmfao i love it when an idiotis so blind they call a person of sound mind an idiot. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people bottom line. The 2nd amendment was put in place to protect us from a tyrannical government because our founding fathers got to see tyranny first and vowed that we should never face that again. But you know the easiest way to rule a people is? Give them something to fear, take away their defences with promise to defend them yourself, and then rule over them since they can no longer defend themselves. Don’t you think it’s funny that they are lying about numbers and trying to say there is a mass shooting everyday? Don’t you think it’s funny that people who have had evidence to suggest dishonest play in the mass shootings we’ve seen, have simply disappeared? Don’t you think it’s funny that places with the strictest gun laws have the highest violent crimes and they continue to climb? Why is it that nobody knows that the guy who stopped the church shooting in Texas, did so with an AR-15? Why is it that dispite filly automatic weapons being illegal for a very long time now, so many gun grabbers think semi automatic is fully automatic and think this is what they are going after? Why do so many think the ar15 .223 carriage is such a large deadly round when in fact it’s actually not that lethal and inn many states is viewed as too small to use for hunting??? It’s all because of the lack of education and the fact that so many sheep follow blindly and believe everything they are told after a tragic event.
Guns kill people? Does anyone or has anyone seen a gun get up and go outside…..? Let alone do anything but sit there? Honestly I would love to own a gun that just gets up cooks me food and does my laundry because I got 8 of the laziest guns made. Guns dont kill people, people kill people gets facts straight and our 2nd ammendment does not need to be ratified or any part of the constitution
“F”… The 2nd Amendment will NEVER be ratified…..Have a nice life…..
Technically LIBERALS with guns kill people in mass shootings.
Guns do not and cannot kill people. They are inanimate objects. You’re thinking of the person pulling the trigger.
By your reasoning, if I wasn’t killed then I wasn’t shot. Your article talks about mass shooting not mass killings. Other than the CRS definition the other definitions talk about being shot not necessarily being killed. If you want to restrict occurrances to only those were 4 or more people, excluding the initial shooter, were killed that is fine but be clear tgat you are now talking about mass killings.
I wonder why gun grabbers always have to inflate their statistics? Usually when you aren’t completely full of sh*t you don’t have to do anytjing like that.
Nice article. I realize this flies in the face of what the gun control crowd wants to believe but it’s nice to see that there’s no consensus on what defines a mass shooting. People are so diluded and opposed to any conversations that involve facts when it comes to guns. Thankfully we live in a republic where gun ownership is protected by the Constitution.
Mother Jones list of mass shooting from 1982 to present. They use 3 or more killed. That makes 11 mas shootings this year.
Yes, MJ is a Leftist media outlet, but sometimes they tell the truth.
Gun bad orange man bad.
Doctors kill more people every year than firearms owners. Should they be outlawed, too?
Come on now. A mass shooting should be defined as such even if none of the people shot actually die. 4 or more shot seems reasonable. Heck, even in cases where a shooter was stopped before shooting a single bullet, if they intended to kill a bunch of people they intended to commit a mass shooting. You weaken your position with the stradegy of only counting when people actually die. I am pro 2nd Amendment all the way. But the argument you make here is weak and makes you look ridiculous. There are MORE mass shootings than what the databases acknowledge because most mass shootings happen in black communities and the press nor the databases want to acknowledge those shootings for what they are: mass shootings. This shouldn’t be the crux of your arguments on behalf of people having the right to defend themselves if you want to be standing on solid ground. I would focus more on all the people being victimized who wouldn’t be victims if they were feared by criminals who don’t give a crap about cops, laws, or gun control. Every day an unarmed elderly person is home invaded, robbed, murdered and/or raped. Had they been able to defend themselves they likely wouldn’t be victims.
What is the anti gun people’s “actual point”? It seems that they want to disarm law abiding people, where i believe that the focus should be on reducing people being murdered by anything including guns. Yet “common sense” gun control is simply a dismissive argument, against gun advocates, and the ONLY solution is to remove all guns, and dismiss any idea that is contrary without any evidence. In my world common sense involves not making wide policy descisions based on hysteria, but rather evaluating facts. Both sides agree that some people should own guns and some should not. Gun owners protect non gun owners all the time….overwhelmingly so. So much so that they think “we” are the problem. They would find a very different world if they had there own gun free state.