Fact Check: CNN’s Kaitlan Collins Claims ‘More Than 200 Mass Shootings in 2023’

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CLAIM: During CNN’s Wednesday town hall with Donald Trump, moderator Kaitlan Collins claimed there have been “more than 200 mass shootings in 2023.”

VERDICT: False, as long as one adheres to the standard definition of a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more individuals were killed by one attacker in one incident.

On May 7, 2023, Breitbart News noted that President Joe Biden made the same claim as Collins, and on May 8, 2023, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeated it.

Such claims have become popular with the left because they rely on outlets like the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) for their mass shooting tally. The GVA departs from the long-accepted standard for a mass shooting, which is four or more killed by one person in one incident, instead defining a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are wounded. There need be no fatalities.

Using the GVA methodology, drive-by shootings become mass shootings, a targeted gang shooting in which four people are wounded is a mass shooting, a triple homicide in which a fourth victim is merely injured is a mass shooting, and a shooting where four people have superficial wounds is a mass shooting. This broadened category of mass shootings allows the left to swell the number of reported mass shooting incidents.

Breitbart News noted that the Hill relied on GVA’s numbers and reported over 600 mass shootings in the U.S. last year.

The Associated Press/USA Today/Northeastern University maintain a database on mass shootings — using the standard definition of such incidents — and their database showed there were 19 such incidents in the U.S. from January 1, 2023, to May 2, 2023. That is roughly one tenth of the number of mass shootings that Collins, Biden, and Jean-Pierre claim.

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 PhD 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 breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.


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