Saturday, May 18, 2013

About The Perceived Increase In Mass Shootings

James Alan Fox is the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University. He is a columnist for the Boston Globe and is a strong proponent of gun control. In a column from this past August Fox examined the trends in mass shootings. Despite the perception that they are on the increase, Fox acknowledges that they aren't in his Boston Globe column.
There is one not-so-tiny flaw in all of these theories for the increase in mass shootings. And that is that mass shootings have not increased in number or in overall body count, at least not over the past several decades.

Based on data extracted from official police reports to the FBI, the figure below shows annual incident, offender and victim tallies for gun homicides in which at least four people were murdered. Over the thirty-year time frame, an average of about 20 mass murders have occurred annually in the United States with an average death toll of about 100 per year.

Mass Shootings 1980-2010.jpg

Without minimizing the pain and suffering of the hundreds of who have been victimized in seneless attacks, the facts say clearly that the has been no increase in mass killings, and certainly no epidemic. Occasionally, we have witnessed short-term spikes with several shootings clustering close together in time.
So the next time a gun prohibitionist says that mass shootings are on the increase, point them to the data which refutes it.

H/T Dave Kopel

1 comment:

  1. Just by looking at the endpoints the gun grabbers' case is even worse off: from 1980 to today the population has increased by almost 50%. So the adjusted rate of mass shootings has dropped dramatically during this period.