Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Media-touted FBI "Mass Shooting" Report Debunked

Friday, June 12, 2015

Media-touted FBI "Mass Shooting" Report Debunked

A misleading 2014 FBI report that fueled media claims that mass shooting incidents in the U.S. are rising sharply has been thoroughly debunked. In a piece appearing in the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences' March 2015 ACJS Today newsletter, Economist John R. Lott carefully lays out the flaws in the Bureaus' "A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013" report.

First, Lott takes the media to task for misrepresenting the underlying scope of the report, and for FBI's failure to adequately explain the content to its readers. Rather than track mass shootings or murders, the report in fact attempts to track "active shooter incidents." This is significant because it encompasses events where no one was shot or killed.

Despite this, media outlets ran sensational headlines, like the New York Times', "F.B.I. Confirms a Sharp Rise in Mass Shootings Since 2000." Lott contends that FBI exacerbated this misperception, noting, "The report discusses mass public shootings, but it never makes it clear to the readers that these types of fatalities and attacks are actually not increasing over time."

The media's distortion of findings to fit their own anti-gun agenda is, unfortunately, to be expected. When done under the auspices of the FBI, such behavior is unacceptable. Whether this report is simply shoddy work, or veiled advocacy, is not altogether clear; however, Lott concludes, "The FBI report appears to be politically driven."

Next, Lott criticizes the authors for selecting their data to show a notable increase in "active shooter incidents." Lott shows that the inclusion of non-mass shooting incidents where zero or one person was killed have the effect of skewing the data to show a surge. Further, Lott explains that the researchers failed to include at least 20 shooting incidents, and that the omitted events were disproportionately from the earlier years of the period studied.

Lott also takes issue with the limited time period studied by the researchers. When data on mass shootings from 1977 through 2014 are used, and the incidents studied are limited to those where at least two or more people were murdered, the supposed annual increase in shootings is "no longer statistically significant."

A pair of researchers who worked on the FBI report issued a defense of their work in the May edition of ACJS Today. The researchers attempted to shift blame for the misunderstanding to the media, noting, "We wonder if some members of the media intentionally misreported findings in an attempt to generate a bigger headline or advance their own agendas." As to why their report was missing so many relevant incidents, they admit, "We acknowledge in the FBI report that our data are imperfect."

The media's distortion of findings to fit their own anti-gun agenda is, unfortunately, to be expected. When done under the auspices of the FBI, such behavior is unacceptable. Whether this report is simply shoddy work, or veiled advocacy, is not altogether clear; however, Lott concludes, "The FBI report appears to be politically driven."

IN THIS ARTICLE
John Lott FBI
TRENDING NOW
Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 on second reading.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

Hunting  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

On March 13, the gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, posted a tweet claiming:  “FACT:  Silencers do not protect your hearing.”  An infographic accompanied the tweet with the additional claim “You know what protects ...

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Yesterday, March 20, the Idaho Senate passed House Bill 93 by a 35-0 vote.  Introduced by state Representative Don Cheatham (R-3B) and sponsored on the floor by state Senator Marv Hagedorn (R-14), HB 93 would amend current law ...

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

On March 14, the European Union completed one of the final steps in imposing stringent new gun controls across the political bloc, when the European Parliament approved legislation to alter the EU Firearms Directive by ...

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended do-pass to House Bill 1169 by a 4-2 vote.  HB 1169 could go to the Senate floor as early as tomorrow.  Please contact your state Senator and politely urge them to ...

Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use

Pro-gun members of Congress have introduced legislation to protect travelers who are transporting firearms interstate for lawful purposes.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.