The Science is Settled: Mass Shootings Not Increasing

The Congressional Research Service has put out a study (which summarizes here) that shows mass shootings are not on the rise, and that there’s no real trend. The numbers tend to be pretty volatile. That’s probably because they don’t represent more than a tiny fraction of the total violent deaths in this country. They do point out that total numbers have gone up, but when controlled for the population increase, there is no trend:



Those are raw totals, without taking population growth into account. If you look at the number of victims per capita, the average has gone up a little from 1970 to today but the numbers are so small that the fluctuations are essentially statistical noise. “Basically, there is no rise,” says Fox, the Northeastern criminologist. “There are some years that are bad, some that are not so bad.”

I would note this study when you see people spreading Bloomberg’s fabricated nonsense about mass shootings reaching epidemic levels. One key thing about this study is it distinguished between types of mass shootings, namely between “mass public shootings,” which is what most of the public thinks of when they hear the term “mass shooting,” and what the study defines as “familicide mass shooting,” and “other felony mass shooting.” I think this is an important distinction, because as the study notes, the public sees a distinction between these types of events.

Also interesting, the study looks at the use of so-called “assault weapons.” 27% of public mass shootings, in only incident in the case of familicide mass shooting, and in 9.7% of other felony mass shootings. Hardly the “weapon of choice” for mass killers that the media would like everyone to believe.

This study will be an important one for our side going forward, given Bloomberg’s desire to overstate the number of mass shootings in an attempt to drive public support for more gun control laws.

3 Responses to “The Science is Settled: Mass Shootings Not Increasing”

  1. Alpheus says:

    One of the things that stood out to me, when I decided to compare the murder rates of places like Vermont and Utah to that of places like California and New York, is how many murders we are talking about. (At the time, I was looking at murders, and not gun deaths…) What stood out to me at the time was how few murders were taking place, relative to the population. That is, less than 1% of 1% of any given population, even in places with high murder rates, is being murdered in any given year.

    And mass murder rates are something like 1% of that!

    Between realizing that murder is a deliberate act, and that for every murder, there is something like 30,000 guns in circulation, it makes it very hard to believe that controlling guns will have any meaningful effect on the murder rate at all…

    • Archer says:

      That’s where the whole, “If it saves just one life…” nonsense comes in.

      They don’t want a “meaningful effect on the murder rate”; they want to remove guns. Period. By defining a single hypothetical human life as priceless, they justify extreme measures to protect that hypothetical victim at any cost.

      That it won’t save any real lives — and may, in fact, cost more than a few — is irrelevant. Real victims’ (plural) lives pale in importance to their hypothetical victim’s (singular) life.

      And that should tell you all you need to know about the anti-gun ideology.


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