Tuesday, June 10, 2014

American Spectator: Is There Really an Epidemic of Mass Shootings?

The short answer is: No! Josh Blackman does a good job in this American Spectator article.

he recent tragedy at the University of California, Santa Barbara has reignited debate over the fraught issues of gun control, mental health, and school safety. The loss of any life is of course tragic. Parents, community members, and policy makers are right to ask questions about how each attack might have been prevented.

But some perspective is in order. Type “mass shootings” and “common” into a search engine and you’ll get all sorts of breathless commentary that might lead one to believe there Americans face a genuine epidemic of shooting rampages. A few headlines:

Vox: “Mass shootings on campus are getting more common and more deadly.”
ThinkProgress: “Mass Shootings Are Becoming More Frequent.”
NPR: “Study: Mass Shootings Are On The Rise Across U.S.”

Washington Post: “Why are mass shootings becoming more common?”

 The truth, simply put, is that mass shootings —as horrible and nightmarish as they are — are very rare, constitute a tiny sliver of homicides, and are not becoming more frequent. The debate over how to respond to gun violence is controversial and unlikely to yield solutions that will satisfy everyone. That said, any efforts that intend to strike a balance between safety, self-defense, and civil liberties must take account of these inconvenient truths.


Peter said...

So...4 mass public shootings in a week is supposed to be "uncommon" now? 4 in a week doesn't show that these situations are "on the rise?" Please.

Wireless.Phil said...

Tonight Cleveland news was bitchen about 74,000 school shooting.
Is that schools, or the shot people headcount?

Anonymous said...

He makes a lot of good points so it's disappointing that the author screws up the headline statement simply because he doesn't know the difference between mass shootings and mass killings.