On Thanksgiving Day, the Hill pointed to misleading data and claimed there have been over 600 “mass shootings” in 2022.
The Hill reports, “According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, there have been 609 incidents in 2022 in which four or more people, other than the attacker, were shot — putting the U.S. on pace to reach around 675 by the end of the year.”
On November 21, 2022, Breitbart News pointed out that Newsmax likewise cited figures from the Gun Violence Archive and claimed the U.S. had witnessed over 600 “mass shootings.” Breitbart noted that the Gun Violence Archive tallies such a high number of “mass shootings” by counting incidents in which there are “a minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter who may also have been killed or injured in the incident,” as “mass shootings.”
The Gun Violence Archive 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.
On April 15, 2021, the Rand Corporation observed that the standard for “mass shootings” was derived from the FBI’s 1980s definition of a “mass murderer” as an individual who “kills four or more people in a single incident (not including himself).” Therefore, four or more deaths in a single incident by a single gunman was the working definition of a “mass shooting.”
In 2013 the U.S. Congress altered the working definition slightly when it “defined mass killing as a single incident that leaves three or more people dead.”
Either definition–“four or more deaths” or “three or more people dead”–sharply undercuts the claim of 600-plus “mass shootings” in 2022.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.