DNC Chair’s Exaggerated Mass Shooting Numbers


Never one to not make an outlandish political statement or remark, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s latest remark about mass shootings and killings in the United States has been fact-checked.

Wasserman Schultz’s statement that “380 Americans have been killed in 294 mass shootings in 2015 alone,” received a “Half-True”rating from Politifact Florida.

Her remark was directed towards GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, but it is a broader statement in favor of gun control.

But like Politifact Florida stated, Wasserman Schultz used a “broad definition of what most people consider a mass shooting.”

Wasserman Schultz’s spokesman said she was citing a report in the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, which stated that the Oregon shooting brought the total of mass shootings this year to 294.

The statistic came from Mass Shooting Tracker, a crowdsourced site, which defines mass shooting as any in which four or more people are shot at, regardless of whether they die or are injured. But that definition is more broad than some other definitions, which we will get into later.


So, if someone fires a bullet at a group of people, then it is considered a mass shooting?

What if a group of people were inadvertently targeted by stray bullet that was not intended for them?

More from Politifact:

The federal government’s more restrictive definition means it tends to count fewer incidents than Mass Shooting Tracker. Using 2013, the most recent year for which federal data is available, the Congressional Research Service found 25 mass shooting incidents — far less than the 363 counted by Mass Shooting Tracker.

We looked for 2015 data for the federal definition of mass shootings, but it isn’t yet available. Based on its definitions, we would expect the total to be significantly lower than Mass Shooting Tracker, but we can’t say by how much.

USA Today has been tracking the data and found approximately 18 mass killings by firearms so far in 2015.

So, why did she get a “Half True” rating?


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