To the casual observer it may seem like mass shootings and gun violence are on the rise… but the truth is, that’s just not so.
Recent studies show that violence involving guns is down almost 50% since 1993, and what’s more, mass shootings (where 4 or more fatalities occur) are NOT on the rise. It just seems that way because of our media inundated culture. These horrible events simply get more coverage because of our increased access and use of technology to communicate and stay connected.
Andrew Kirell goes into more depth and gives you the facts over at Mediaite…
In light of the Las Vegas shootout this past weekend, along with the terrifying Isla Vista slayings earlier in June, New York magazine published a helpful reminder that despite the media hype, mass shootings are not on the rise and, no, America is not descending into some Mad Max-like, post-apocalyptic wasteland of violence.
Based on data from Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, who has tracked mass-shooting incidents (4+ fatalities) from 1976 until two years ago (most recent FBI data available), NYmag’s “Science of Us” blog created this helpful graph:
Clearly no upward trend there. And as the Science of Us blog noted, the data wouldn’t change much if you defined “mass shootings” as 3+ fatalities instead. Additionally, Department of Education statistics show no upward trend in school shooting victims.
The question then becomes: Why does it feel like things are getting worse at an increasingly fast pace? The answer requires a bit of self-reflection from us in the media. Science of Us neatly summed up the answer: “Every incident immediately explodes onto the national stage and is then amplified a millionfold by social media.”