Saturday, June 13, 2015

FBI on Mass Shooting Report: Yeah, We Made It Up

Last fall, we noted that the FBI used bogus stats in its pre-election mass shooting report. Researchers counted some mass shootings that weren’t “mass” at all, and entirely omitted actual mass shootings that occurred early in the carefully selected timeframe. All of it was an effort to show an increasing trend of “gun violence” since 2000, we suspect in concert with Democrat campaign talking points about the necessity of gun control.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley picked up on a quiet announcement that, indeed, the researchers pretty much made it up: “[L]ate last week, J. Pete Blair and M. Hunter Martaindale, two academics at Texas State University who co-authored the FBI report, acknowledged that ‘our data is imperfect.’ They said that the news media ‘got it wrong’ last year when they ‘mistakenly reported mass shootings were on the rise.’

Mind you, the authors did not issue this mea culpa in the major news outlets that supposedly misreported the original findings. Instead, the authors published it in ACJS Today, an academic journal published by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. ‘Because official data did not contain the information we needed, we had to develop our own,’ wrote Messrs. Blair and Martaindale. ‘This required choices between various options with various strengths and weaknesses.’ You don’t say.

The truth is the number of mass shootings has remained essentially flat for the last 40 years, while violent crime has dropped significantly in the last decade as firearm ownership has grown. But that doesn’t fit the leftist agenda.

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