On June 12, CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper did a segment with Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox that focused on Fox’s decades of work, the results of which reveal that mass shootings are not on the rise in the United States.
According to Tapper, “In the past week alone, the country has been horrified by the images on our televisions.” The images to which he is referring are those of the gunman in Oregon, the “sick husband and wife team” who killed two police officers in Las Vegas, and “a 26-year-old taking inspiration from Columbine, killing a student on a Seattle college campus.”
Tapper said President Obama “suggests that mass shootings are on the rise.” He then turned to Fox and said, “It’s hard to believe [mass shootings aren’t on the rise] when it seems like every week, we’re reporting on another mass shooting.”
Fox replied, “Barack Obama’s called gun violence the new normal. I should remind you, however, that Bill Clinton once said that we should focus on trendlines, not headlines. And the trendline here [for mass shootings] is flat, even while the population of this country has grown.”
Fox added, “Obviously, it’s a horrific event when four, five, or twelve people are gunned down, and we should be trying to deal with situations like that. But let’s not think that this is an epidemic.”
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