Crime

Mother Jones Claims the Rate of Mass Shootings Has Tripled Since 2011. Is That True?

A new bottle for some old data.

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Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, who did not write the article.

Two years ago, Mother Jones published a "Guide to Mass Shootings in America," which claimed to show that such slayings happen more often now than in the past. The feature, whose data have been updated periodically since it first went up, has been both widely cited and harshly disputed. This week the outlet has published a new analysis claiming that mass shootings occur far more frequently than they did several decades ago and that the rate has tripled since 2011. Whether you buy that depends on whether you buy into the previous piece, because the new article has essentially the exact same flaws.

The best critique I've seen of the original Mother Jones article was written by Michael Siegel. You should read the whole thing, but this is the key passage:

It is a truism of science that the more narrowly you define your sample and the more you shrink the number of data points, the less reliable your conclusions will be. If you were to analyze all gun shootings and violence over the last thirty years, you'd have hundreds of thousands of data points to base your conclusions on. You could, as I like to say, achieve Victory Through Sheer Data Volume. But when you start parsing the data down further and further, you become more prone to random variation and even bias.

Even if we take Mother Jones' data at face value, we can see we're dealing with less than 120 victims every year and frequently less than 20. That's an awfully small number to be drawing conclusions from. To illustrate why, take the Virginia Tech killings. 56 people were killed or wounded. That is more than all but five entire years in their database. Something like that is simply going to swamp the statistics.

But we shouldn't even take Mother Jones' data at face value because it is highly suspect. First, it seems to be based on media coverage, which is not exactly an objective source and almost certainly leaves shootings out….Everywhere, they make arbitrary cuts to exclude murders that may not fit their conclusions. They limit the sample to lone shooters, but make exceptions for Columbine and Westside. They exclude gang activity and other crimes but include the Fort Hood Shootings, which were an act of terrorism….They arbitrarily throw in a few spree killings.

This is simply not a representative sample. It's cherry-picked to fit a definition, but leaves huge gaping biases all over the place. Mother Jones doesn't even acknowledge this.

All this would be fine if you wanted to create an illustrative or representative sample. This is even fine if you want to draw some broad and overwhelming conclusions such as that most spree killers get their guns legally. But the low numbers and the biases blow up in your face when you try to do a more rigorous analysis….They've narrowed the sample so far down that they are essentially looking at noise.

The new analysis looks at the intervals between each incident rather than the annual numbers of crimes and victims. But aside from the fact that the list has been updated through 2014, this is the same data as the original article, with all the problems that Siegel and others pointed out before.

The Mother Jones team does make one reasonable point, in the course of arguing against those of us who aren't convinced mass shootings have been getting more common:

So why do we keep hearing in the media that mass shootings have not increased?

This view stems from the work of Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, who has long maintained that mass shootings are a stable phenomenon. ("The growing menace lies more in our fears than in the facts," he has said.) But Fox's oft-cited claim is based on a misguided approach to studying the problem: The data he uses includes all homicides in which four or more people were murdered with a gun. His analysis, which counts the number of events per year, lumps together mass shootings in public places with a far more numerous set of mass murders that are contextually distinct—a majority of which stem from domestic violence and occur in private homes.

It is true that Fox's data cover a lot of incidents that don't fit the standard conception of a mass shooting, and that it would be useful to have a more narrowly defined count. The flipside of this is that Fox's figures are based on a relatively solid source—police reports, which are regularly collected and tabulated—and thus avoid the problems with relying on press accounts for your list of incidents.

The best alternative measurement that I'm aware of comes from Grant Duwe, a criminologist at the Minnesota Department of Corrections. His definition of mass public shootings does not make the various one-time exceptions and other jerry-riggings that Siegel criticizes in the Mother Jones list; he simply keeps track of mass shootings that took place in public and were not a byproduct of some other crime, such as a robbery. And rather than beginning with a search of news accounts, with all the gaps and distortions that entails, he starts with the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports to find out when and where mass killings happened, then looks for news reports to fill in the details. According to Duwe, the annual number of mass public shootings declined from 1999 to 2011, spiked in 2012, then regressed to the mean.

Finally, a note on why this matters. Violent crime rates have been moving downward for decades now, and mass shootings—by any definition—are a very rare phenomenon. I've heard arguments from one direction that say there's no point in putting such a small risk under a microscope when the most pressing threats to people's lives lie elsewhere. I've heard arguments from another direction that say even one crime this horrible is too many, and that the effect of noting how infrequently it happens is just to discourage people from trying to prevent it.

To the first set of arguments, I say that when the press and politicians present a problem like this as a rising crisis, it's worthwhile to see whether it is indeed rising. To the second set of arguments, I say that absolutely nothing I've said here means we shouldn't try to prevent future mass murders. Plane crashes are extremely rare, but airlines still look for ways to make them even less likely. If a measure genuinely makes people safer without creating an intolerable trade-off, I'm for it.

Such measures are most likely to be incremental changes adopted at particular places (such as schools) and then imitated elsewhere, not big anti-crime bills rushed into law by national politicians eager to be seen Doing Something. But there may well be ways federal or state officials can make that experimentation and imitation easier. Good ideas are good—and bad ideas are bad—whether or not mass shootings are getting more common.

Past Reason coverage of the issue:

• "Are Mass Shootings Becoming More Common in the United States?" (December 2012)

• "Making Sense of Mass-Shooting Statistics" (January 2013)

• "Life During Wartime" (May 2013)

• "Why Can't Anyone Agree How Many Mass Shootings There Have Been In 2013?" (September 2013)

• "Why Mass Shootings Haven't Ushered In a New Age of Gun Control" (February 2014)

• "Are School Homicides 'Becoming the Norm'?" (June 2014)

• "The FBI Says 'Active Shooter Incidents' Are On the Rise. What Does That Mean?" (September 2014)

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121 responses to “Mother Jones Claims the Rate of Mass Shootings Has Tripled Since 2011. Is That True?

  1. This is how you create hockey stick graphs. Why am I not surprised that MJ fails to grasp this.

      1. Well you can’t just tell the the proles and other useful idiots the truth. You have to lie in order to produce right thought and right action in those who would be ruled by the masters of the toadies at MJ.

        1. Someone should let Brett know that Ezra Klein is spoofing his account.

          1. Nah, I just stole his elevator pitch for Vox.

          2. Yglesias was the one who advocated lying. I know, not that it really matters which of them it was

  2. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

  3. No.

    Next question.

  4. Nope.
    Mama Jones be lyin’.
    … and the sun rises in the East, more at 11.

  5. Did they count the Elliot Rodger incident as a shooting spree or a stabbing spree?

    1. Every media reference I’ve seen is “Santa Barbara shooting” or the equivalent, particularly those touting California’s new “take guns and only guns from crazy people” law. Note he also ran several people down with his car.

  6. OK, I’ll stipulate it.

    Therefore. I need to finally get my CDL, a carry weapon, more ammo, an AR (just in case), and get to the range more often.

    Thanks, Mother Jones!

    1. “CDL”

      Tha fuck am I thinking? My “concealed carry permit”.

      I think “CDL” is the license to drive an 18 wheeler, which I’m also pursuing…

      Anyhooo…:)

      1. I was really wondering why you’d need a CDL. I figured it was for your m3a1.

        1. How else will he be able to handle the 18 wheeler full of gas sand in the wastelands after Ebola kills most of the people in the US?

          1. I thought that’s what slaves were for.

          2. There has been too much violence. Too much pain. But I have an honorable compromise. Just walk away. Give me your pump, the oil, the gasoline, and the whole compound, and I’ll spare your lives. Just walk away and we’ll give you a safe passageway in the wastelands. Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror.

            1. If it’s all the same to you… Almanian!’ll drive that tanker.

      2. I can’t wait to get my concealed carry. Of course, only wearing pants but rarely is going to make concealment difficult.

        1. Yeah, concealing weapons is always harder when you never wear pants. That’s why I just hide it behind my donger and hope everybody’s too busy staring at it to notice.

          1. So, you must carry a pocket pistol since it needs to be small enough to be concealed by your micro-wang.

          2. You tuck it between your legs like a mangina?

        2. Hey, that’s what vajayjay holsters are for.

          1. Probably going to wait until I get home to check that link out.

            But in all seriousness, I’ve been doing research on a concealed thigh holster since I typically wear dresses.

            1. The article is work safe, no worries.

              I have a Kel-Tec P3AT that is absurdly small and light. I would imagine it would be one of the more comfortable guns to put in a thigh holster, and it would fit in all but the smallest handbags/purses.

              Even better would be a Seecamp.

              1. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Kel-Tec at my favorite range. Sometimes they have interesting pieces for rent.

                I borrowed an M&P Shield that seemed like it might be suitable, but I can’t see myself with a Seecamp. Anything is better than nothing, but there’s no way practice with that would translate over to USPSA matches.

                1. Oh no, the eminently concealable pistols are not anything that would be good for matches of for match practice. They’re just something that you can pull out because someone is coming at you in an alley and you can just aim for center mass and start pulling the trigger. The thing about the P3AT or the Seecamp is that they’re so easy to carry, that you do it. And that’s one of the primary things to do to actually defend yourself: actually be carrying your weapon instead of leaving it home because it’s bulky or heavy. As you say, anything is better than nothing.

                  1. You’ve convinced me to rethink my position on pocket models. I definitely need to do more research.

                    But I draw the line at off-body carrying!

            2. Please continue.

              1. Uh… they’re short and I’m considering a garter belt type of accessory to assist, since I don’t want to carry off-body nor do I want a pocket sized model.

                1. Ruger makes a couple nice little pocket pistols for carry by tiny female humans. Check out the LCPs or the LCRs if you like revolvers.

                  1. Warty, I’ve tried both the Rugers and the Kel-Tecs, and the Kel-Tecs have a better feel and are cheaper. Remember the LCP is a ripoff of the Kel-Tec anyway.

                    1. HAHAHAHA EPISIARCH JUST ADMITTED HE HAS TINY HANDS

                    2. Maybe Warty could put his hands over yours for the group picture.

                    3. Not a fan of the LCPs and their trigger pulls, but the LCR is awesome.

                  2. My “home defense” pistol is Ruger’s SP101, so you could say I’m a fan. I’ll do some research on those.
                    I do have tiny hands, so the grip being replaceable or small enough to be comfortable is a big factor.

                    1. MF software ate my post, but I recommend looking at Kahr’s .380 and 9mm, Boberg’s 9mm, Remora holsters. And this guy’s website for more reviews on mouseguns and ammo tests from them.

                      Let’s see if the damned board eats this one too.

            3. I’ve been doing research on a concealed thigh holster since I typically wear dresses.

              Another option:
              Confidant holster: http://www.kramerleather.com/p…..egoryID=21
              Kangaroo carry: http://kangaroocarry.com/

            4. Here’s a holster for you, Riven:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8r6CY5UZyw

          2. Isn’t that, um, kinda redundant?

      3. LOL… right or any commercial vehicle I believe.

    2. I don’t know what state you live in, but you really should. I was one of the last of my small circle of friends to get it, and even if you don’t carry on a regular basis, it makes life much easier.

      Go shooting at the range? Just carry your gun out in the case or in your holster and you’re golden. You don’t have to spend all that time separating ammo, locking cases, making sure they’re out of reach etc. in fear of committing a crime.

      1. This.

        The more people who ask permission to carry a gun, the more obvious it’ll also be to government that gun owners aren’t just a sad little minority who speaks with a drawl.

  7. Mother Jones hasn’t earned trust in any area because they’ve shown themselves again and again to be completely ideological and willing to lie to suit their purposes. Why should they be trusted in this or anything else? As much as some people want to deny it and change it, reputation matters, fuckers.

    1. But… but… FOX NEWS!!!

    2. Maybe Mother Jones should change the name of the magazine every few days. That’s bound to fool a lot of people.

      1. Yeah, because after all, it’s the content of what’s being said that matters, not the reputation for mendacity and stupidity that the speaker has!

    3. “Mother Jones hasn’t earned trust in any area ”

      Must be why they have about double the traffic of Reason….

      1. Being told what you want to hear is very popular.

    4. Mother Jones hasn’t earned trust in any area because they’ve shown themselves again and again to be completely ideological and willing to lie to suit their purposes.

      Do you have any websites for this? I have friends who are fans and I’d to rile them up.

  8. From the sidebar: Florida Supreme Court says cell locator data protected by 4A, requires warrant. Sucks to yer Stingray, piggies.

    1. Not that the NSA gives a fuck anyways.

      1. I’m more concerned with local PDs like mine in Tallahassee being able to use fake base stations as “evidence” to terrorize anyone they want to.

      2. I’m saving up for a Faraday pouch, personally. Doesn’t look like the Blackphone is gonna be viable until it goes through a few more iterations :/

  9. And of course, HuffPo repeats it word for word with no questioning:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..92702.html

    1. And I don’t know about the comments on MOJO, but Huffpo has some doozies:

      Marty Lenhart ? Top Commenter ? University of Washington
      Not all Republikkkers are mass shooters, but all mass shooters are Republikkkers.

      And

      Christopher Alan Williams ? Follow ? Top Commenter ? UC Berkeley
      Mother Jones is a long-standing respected journalistic organization. Just because it is editorially liberal is no reason to dismiss it.

      1. Nice to see our universities are really equipping their students with critical thinking skills. You know, what those evil STEM majors aren’t being taught, or so I’ve been told.

      2. Really, Marty? I wasn’t aware Seung-Hui Cho joined the Republican Party in Korea.

        1. Is there any evidence that any recent mass shooters have been Republicans? It’s amazing the faith some people have in statements they completely make up.

          1. Is there any evidence that any recent mass shooters have been Republicans? It’s amazing the faith some people have in statements they completely make up.

            If I give you a map of the United States and you can find any place on it that you think would be better with less government, you’re a republican.

            What more evidence do you need?

      3. One of the worst things about progs is they think things like “Republikkkers” are so witty.

      4. *Not all Republikkkers are mass shooters, but all mass shooters are Republikkkers.*

        It’s these sort of people–Marty Lenhart ? Top Commenter ? University of Washington–that drive me to secretly wish the Second American Civil War would start immediately. I cannot believe my tax dollars go to support this POS’s education.

      5. Not all Republikkkers are mass shooters, but all mass shooters are Republikkkers.

        Fascinating. In my, albeit cursory, observation, the violent people who ‘have’ been open about political ideology have been left-of-center or otherwise socialist.

        1. Pretty much.

          But that little fact doesn’t stop them now does it?

  10. Let’s keep redefining the criteria until we get the outcome we’re looking for.

    1. Good idea! Mass shootings are increasing because the population is becoming more obese!

      1. Easier to kill more people when they are easier to shoot/bigger targets.

  11. It is a truism of science that the more narrowly you define your sample and the more you shrink the number of data points, the less reliable your conclusions will be.

    It is warmer today than it was yesterday; in mid-October.
    Global Warming is real, and it’s here!

    1. It’s colder here than it was yesterday, explain that.

      1. Well you can’t draw conclusions from one piece of data, when it comes to disproving AGW. But it’s perfectly fine to cherry pick the data to prove AGW. /derp

        1. That’s correct. Climate is not weather. Unless there’s a big, scary weather event. Then it’s directly caused by climate change.

      2. I blame Bush.

      3. Obviously the unusually cold weather you experienced is because of global warming.

  12. And leftists will claim that health care costs are decreasing, but my health insurance premiums for the same plan go up 20% next year.

    1. But other than that, your costs are going… up. How’s the baby?

      1. I don’t know about yall, but my wife is ready for another one. As great as our 2 year old is I’m not sure throwing a newborn in the mix is going to help out finances. I told we could have another one when she pays off her student loans.

        1. Oh god. We are still six weeks shy of the first birthday and she wants us to start trying for another one. Which is great as long as we don’t actually succeed.

          1. My wife vacillates between wanting another soon (not THAT soon though, damn) and wanting to wait until this one is in kindergarten. Her mom’s retiring next year and lives close by though, so it’ll be interesting if the extra help and company during the day speeds up her clock.

      2. Baby’s awesome. She’s walking and the cardiologist took her off digoxin with apparently no problems, so the only vestige we have of the week in NICU is unpleasant memories.

        We’ve managed to spend nearly nothing on our daughter because she has cousins a few miles away that are a few years older. Using their clothes, their baby toys, etc. Awesome.

        How’s your boy?

        1. He’s standing and swaying, but not walking without help. He appears to have inherited the full helping of his dad’s “I do it myself!” gene, which he communicates by grunts, growls and shrieks. This dad thing is pretty damn cool. He and the cat have the same taste in toys, so we’ve been saving money that way. Glad she’s well.

          1. My girl spent a few days letting go of one piece of furniture, pivoting, and then falling forward with arms outstretched to get to the next before she walked. But once she realized she could walk, she went from taking a couple of steps before falling to walking across rooms in the span of a few hours while I was playing with her after work and my wife was in the other room doing something. She came back in the room and was flabbergasted.

            Fatherhood is pretty fucking incredible.

            1. Fatherhood is pretty fucking incredible.
              True. First you get to carry them everywhere they go, then you get to chase them everywhere they go, then you get to worry about them everywhere they go.

  13. This is a tough call. Do you believe stats gleamed from media accounts, or from the gov’t through police/FBI records.

    My head hurts just trying to pick between the two.

  14. “But we shouldn’t even take Mother Jones’ data at face value because it is highly suspect.”

    MJ knows they’re full of shit. It takes too long to logically pick apart these reports in a 2 minute TV “News” segment, so it allows the host(tess) to present the list of “studies” that prove we need to (insert “common sense” “fer teh chillren” gun control line here).

    “Plane crashes are extremely rare, but airlines still look for ways to make them even less likely.”

    I find this comparison extremely relevant but for a different reason. The majority of the public doesn’t understand aviation and the majority of the public doesn’t understand their own rights. For example, Congress/the FAA just changed the minimum requirements to be a First Officer on Regional and Major Air Carriers (FAR Part 121). The new minimums require an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate before a pilot can serve as a First Officer for a 121. This legislation was based on “doing something” about the Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash that happened outside of Buffalo, NY in February of 2009. Both the Captain and First Officer of the crashed aircraft held ATP certificates. Obviously the Congressional fix, spearheaded by Chuck Schumer, was to require all pilots to have an ATP to fly passenger aircraft. The public stayed dumb and happy because “something” was accomplished.

    1. I gather from your username that you’re particularly chafing about not being able to escape from Schumer’s iron-fisted incompetence despite emigrating.

      1. Can you blame me?

        1. Not at all. 🙂

    2. Obviously the Congressional fix, spearheaded by Chuck Schumer, was to require all pilots to have an ATP to fly passenger aircraft. The public stayed dumb and happy because “something” was accomplished.

      I was thinking more along the lines of improvements to technologies and procedures…

      1. It was an internal training issue at Colgan coupled with poor piloting skills. Those of us in the industry were aware the training captains (at several airlines) were iron fisted about holding altitude, no matter what. Those changes happened internally well before the legislation was introduced.

      2. “I was thinking more along the lines of improvements to technologies and procedures…”

        You mean technologies to tell the pilots “no, you haven’t been awake too long and strung out on that near minimum wage job you are doing”.

        That’s some fancy tech!

    3. The majority of the public doesn’t understand aviation

      You are right. I have no idea what any of that means.

  15. Mother Jones ain’t got nothing on Brother Charles.

    1. By contrast, ‘Monkey Hustle‘ was actually a high-budget piece of avant-garde, cinematic art which presaged later work like the Cremaster Cycle…

      1. The overarching plotline is to prevent the construction of an expressway through the neighborhood in which all the characters reside. Using facilities that are not adequately described in the film, Foxx and local numbers man “Glitterin’ Goldie” (Moore) use potentially corrupt connections within the city government to prevent the construction.

        Brilliant.

      2. You can’t fool me. “Goldie” is just Dolemite in in a crazy-ass vest.

  16. His analysis, which counts the number of events per year, lumps together mass shootings in public places with a far more numerous set of mass murders that are contextually distinct?a majority of which stem from domestic violence and occur in private homes.

    Which brings to mind a (purely theoretical!) question I have about this phenomenon: If I were going to go around shooting people (not that I have the slightest inclination to do so, honest!) I can think of plenty of people personally known to me who would be excellent candidates for a dose of lead poisoning. Why would I shoot a bunch of strangers?

    1. Because you aren’t completely insane.

  17. I’ve heard arguments from another direction that say even one crime this horrible is too many, and that the effect of noting how infrequently it happens is just to discourage people from trying to prevent it.

    This kind of argument is the number one tipoff that you’re dealing with a panicky idiot…and panicky idiots are notoriously unreliable at coming up with thoroughly researched, well-considered positions.

    1. Another aspect of the tipoff is the “this horrible” stuff.

      If the panicky idiot is truly concerned about “horrible” things then let him work on situations that are worse and more easily handled, like, say, toxic waste dumps.

    2. I want to discourage people from trying to prevent it. Both because the things that people want to do to prevent it are terrible and ineffective and because I’m not convinced that it is possible to do so.

  18. Jesse, can you link to the Duwe study? I’m writing a paper on shootings so any additional sources will help.

    Thanks!!!

    1. He updates his database annually, and he writes articles (and at least one book) that draw on it, but while I’ve seen his most recent figures described in the media (e.g. here) I don’t know if he has published an article about them.

      1. Thanks!

  19. The bigger mystery is how commie tripe publications like Mother Jones continue to stay afloat.

    1. Rent seeking?

  20. Here is the story they are missing:

    Guns are okay because it will help defend the homelands from ISIS (the not so eminent threat) and Ebola Riots (they could happen).

    You can’t have politicians (on both sides) scaring the shit out of people for a living and then think the nation will give up guns.

  21. Let’s see….

    1 or 5 victims from Ebola – earth shaking, big gubment better step in, fuck the states, fuck personal freedoms….

    BUT,

    120….that’s an awfully small number!

    Amazing!

  22. Let’s at least be honest about gun statistics!

    The NRA succeeded LONG ago in making sure they weren’t studied accurately. All funding was/is removed from the Gubment, especially that which would have related to health (statistics) and the study of the short and long term situation.

    In the absence of study, I can claim that guns make us safer. I can claim that we have fewer murders than other countries. I can claim ANYTHING, because talk is cheap.

    The perfect example is when I, in another thread, mentioned that the Ebola thing has killed less people so far in the USA than other means do in an HOUR (guns, transportation).

    Of course, this was disputed as an outright LIE…because, after all, killing your family, yourself or even someone else for a “reason” shouldn’t count! Just like Ebola shouldn’t count if the person got it honestly, right?

    Then some brainiac says “well, this is not a good comparison since you can’t be safe from guns, but you can from Ebola”.

    Really? Is that the best you’ve got? Clear statistics (ask an actuary) are that if you have a gun(s) in your house, you are more likely to be hurt or hurt others.

    C’mon. Have some “reason”. It’s OK to admit that, statistically, guns are more dangerous than no guns AND AT THE SAME TIME SUPPORT THE 2nd.

    Yes, it is. No different than saying Cars are more dangerous than large airliners and still supporting the right to have them.

    Let me hear “Yea – you are right. Guns ARE more dangerous than no guns statistically”.

    1. You need to sign up for a stats class.

      Or get fitted for a prosthetic brain.

      Either one would be an improvement.

    2. Guns are more dangerous than no guns, statistically.

      Problem is, since the invention of the gun there has been no “no guns” scenario, as agents of the state always maintain possession of guns. So of the scenarios:

      No private guns, yes state guns,
      Yes private guns, yes state guns,
      No private guns, no state guns.

      the latter is quite possibly the least dangerous outcome. But it is also complete fantasy and will never happen. Of the two that remain, there is a strong historical argument that the second is, statistically, less dangerous than the first. Statistically.

    3. The NRA succeeded LONG ago in making sure they weren’t studied accurately. All funding was/is removed from the Gubment, especially that which would have related to health (statistics) and the study of the short and long term situation.

      That explains why the FBI doesn’t track guns and crime and why there is no checkbox for firearms in WISQARS violent death stats.

      Clear statistics (ask an actuary) are that if you have a gun(s) in your house, you are more likely to be hurt or hurt others.

      Just like if you’ve got diet food in your house, you’re more likely to be fat.

      It’s a post hoc ergo propter hoc. People buy guns because they’re afraid of being shot in the dangerous neighbors they live in that a result of the Drug War (murders track government efforts to cut down on drugs) and the the government using eminent domain to do “slum” clearances of people who owned homes and then concentrating troubled people into projects. But leftists like to avoid those topics and concentrate on guns.

  23. “other crimes but include the Fort Hood Shootings, which were an act of terrorism….”

    I thought the Obama administration determined it was work place violence!

  24. I agree that “Mother Jones” slanted their stores to make them align with there agenda, however, this is not news for anyone that reads Mother Jones.
    Now, yes I support anything that will reduce mass killings. However, there are very well known ways to do this that seems to be missing from the story.
    Namely, we need to have many more good guys with training and guns in all public places. The idea of “No Gun Zones” need to be eliminated from our country and especially in our schools. The only way to reduce the body is to stop these killers faster by having first responders prepared, (Of course, we all know that first responders are the victims)

  25. Mother Jones should be commended for providing objective data on mass shootings from 1982-2012:

    http://www.motherjones.com/pol…..l-shooting

    The deadliest year was 2012 (76 killed – 24 killed per 100-million USA citizens)

    For 1983, 1985 and 2002 Mother Jones records no mass shootings.

    On average, for the 31 years ended 2012, 17 Americans were killed in mass shootings/year. If for each year you scale the number of shooting deaths by average population in that year you get an average ratio of 6.0/100-million – the median annual figure is 2.7 killed/100-million.

    From 1990-2003 754 deaths by lighting strike were recorded in the United States – 54 per year. Scaled by the US average population for this period (271-million) this 14-year fatal-strike average is 19.9 per 100-million – round it up to 20/100-million Americans.

    By this rough risk-analysis, for the past 31 years, an American is slightly more than 3 times more likely to die by lightning strike than to die in a mass shooting. If you use the median figure, you were more than 7 times more likely.

    1. “By this rough risk-analysis, for the past 31 years, an American is slightly more than 3 times more likely to die by lightning strike than to die in a mass shooting. If you use the median figure, you were more than 7 times more likely.”

      What are our chances of dying from Ebola? They must be really high for the whole country to be freaking out and wanting to pass lots of Big Gubment laws…

    2. “By this rough risk-analysis, for the past 31 years, an American is slightly more than 3 times more likely to die by lightning strike than to die in a mass shooting’

      Oh, BTW, I know a guy who was killed by lightning. It shouldn’t get to the point where we each – or even one person in a family or neighborhood – knows a person who died in a mass shooting.

      I think most should agree with me there.

  26. FWIW, I posted this to MJ a minute ago. Wonder if anyone is paying attention on that 2-year-old post?

    So, if based on press accounts, does that imply over-reporting?

    Of course the lightning strike figure was used to help those who don’t get that 6/100-million is a low number.

  27. Mother Jones was probably on the same s..t that those ‘passersby’ that ReasonTV interviewed in Venice were using.

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