Mass Shootings a Minute Percentage of Overall Gun Deaths

A visitor prays at a memorial to the seven people killed and others injured in the Fourth of July mass shooting at the Highland Park War Memorial in Highland Park, Ill., Thursday, July 7, 2022. On Wednesday, July 27, 2022, Robert Crimo III was indicted by a grand jury on …
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

While Democrats harness and use the emotional overload of a mass shooting to push more gun control, sources as diverse as Pew Research, Rockefeller Institute of G0vernment, and even Moms Demand Action volunteers admit that mass shootings constitute a minute percentage of gun deaths.

It must be noted that the percentage of mass shooting deaths recognized depends on the means by which a mass shooting are calculated.

Breitbart News has long pointed out a discrepancy here, whereby some outlets, such as CNN or the Hill, claim over 600 mass shootings a year while others place the number much lower.

For example. Mayors Against Illegal Guns claims there were “56 mass shootings that occurred in 30 States during the 4-year period from January 2009 through 2013.”

The differences in numbers are largely due to some outlets holding to the standard calculation of a mass shooting, drawn from the FBI mass murder phraseology, which posits a mass shooting is one in which four or more people are killed by a single gunman in a single incident. But many outlets–like the aforementioned CNN and the Hill–rely on the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), which redefined the phrase mass shooting to mean “four or more people, other than the attacker, were shot.” No one has to be killed.

The GVA approach allows drive-by shootings, double homicides, murder-suicides, triple homicides, gang violence, and even firearm-related instances in which there are zero fatalities, to be counted as mass shootings.

Granting all this–the great divergence in what is defined as a mass shooting and what is not–the percentage of gun deaths attributed to mass shootings is placed at about one percent by some sources and two percent by others.

FOX 17 noted on March 26 that Moms Demand Action volunteer Christian VanEyl said, “Mass shootings are only less than 2% of the gun deaths in the United States.”

A February 3, 2022, Pew Research analysis of gun deaths in the U.S. points out that “mass shooting incidents in the U.S. account for a small fraction of all gun murders that occur nationwide each year.”

Jaclyn Schildkraut, the interim director of the Rockefeller Institute of Government’s Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, reported on February 1, 2023, that “mass shootings account for less than one percent of all homicides and all firearm-related fatalities.”

Schildkraut notes, “In fact, mass shootings are one of the rarest forms of gun violence and crime in general in the country.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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