By Tom Knighton
Not a week goes by when I don’t encounter some article making claims about how mass shootings are happening at a rate that is nearly beyond comprehension.
According to places like the Gun Violence Archive, they’re happening at a rate of nearly two per day, and that’s more than enough to rattle your average voter.
What’s more, most people don’t really understand what the numbers mean. Even if they see the definition GVA uses, they don’t quite get what all is included in that total, such as gang shootouts. They simply think it’s a mass shooting as they would otherwise think of it, only the gunman wasn’t particularly accurate.
Yet a piece by a criminal justice professor–an academic–takes issue with this whole idea of lumping everything in together.
Current media portrayal of and public debate about gun violence are big on shock values but short on solutions. Broad definitions of mass shootings with no differentiation of types of shootings, victims, and circumstances, lumping gang violence, home invasions, armed robberies, familicides, and personal vengeance together with random public mass killings are not conducive to effective interventions…