The news media has a saying: “If it bleeds, it leads.” The saying points out that people will tend to pay attention to when something horrible happens to other people. Certainly, this has something to do with why the mainstream media plasters anything labeled a mass shooting all over the place. It’s because people pay attention.
Not surprisingly, most people who pay attention to the mainstream media (which is probably most Americans) believe that the world is getting worse, that gun violence is up, and that mass shootings and horrible actions of that kind are becoming more common. But is that true?
The research says, no, it’s not. Nancy Harty writes,
Research by of University of Illinois professor has revealed a surprising trend about mass murder in the United States.
Contrary to what you might think, mass murders are not on the rise, according to computer science professor Sheldon Jacobson.
Jacobson said there were 323 such killings – in which four or more people are killed in one incident – between January 2006 and October 2016. The mass killings appeared to be evenly distributed over that time, meaning their rate remained stable over the past decade, and did not spike during any particular season or year.
“The data doesn’t lie. The rate of these events just is not increasing as the perception is given in the media. This is just what it is,” he said.
The professor used a decade’s worth of data from USA Today that was cross-checked by the FBI. He said his analysis also found public shooting sprees like the Las Vegas massacre are not the most common type of mass killing.
“Family mass killings are over three times more likely to occur than a public killing. So what we just saw in Las Vegas is actually not the most common type of mass killing.”
So, the data says that mass shootings are not increasing (if you’re new to this site, you didn’t see that coming, did you?) and that the most common types of mass shootings are family shootings. Now, the article doesn’t specify whether family shootings are primarily murder-suicide situations or whether they are things like “honor killings” or some combination of both or something else entirely, so it’s hard to clarify the cause of the situations there.
What does seem clear, though, is that, contrary to most media outlets and anti-gun politicians, gun control doesn’t appear to be anything that would prevent these horrible things from happening.
Regardless, you can now say to your anti-gunner friends that, despite their hysteria, mass shootings aren’t actually happening more often.