Mother Jones: Left Claims ‘355 Mass Shootings’ In 2015, Actual Number is 4

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

On December 3, Mother Jones editor Mark Follman addressed the left’s exaggerated claims of “355 mass shootings” this year and pointed out the actual number is about four.

Follman is addressing leftist media pundits, gun control groups, and actresses like Rose McGowan, who claim there have actually been 355 mass shootings in American in 2015 alone. On December 2 McGowan tweeted that the San Bernardino attack was the 355th this year. She wrote, “355 shootings this year. Well done you f**king idiots.”

But Follman shows that McGowan and others making that claim are off by about 351 shootings.

Writing The New York Times, Follman says:

At Mother Jones, where I work as an editor, we have complied an in-depth open-source database covering more than three decades of public mass shootings. By our measure, there have been four “mass shootings” this year, including the one in San Bernardino, and at least 73 such attacks since 1982.

Note–The left claims 355 mass shootings this year along while Mother Jones’ research shows only 73 mass shootings since 1982. How can this be?

It is easy to understand when you consider the standard FBI measure for a mass shootings is four fatalities in one incident. And while Mother Jones is holding to this standard to judge what is or isn’t a mass shooting, the left is using outlets like Shooting Tracker, which says, “a mass shooting is when four or more people are shot in an event, or related series of events, likely without a cooling off period.”

A definition like the one used by shooting tracker opens the door to start counting gang violence, drive-by shootings, and other such incidents as “mass shootings.” Although there are no deaths–and there may be more than one shooting incident involved–every time four people are injured Shooting Tracker and the left counts one more mass shooting.

In reality, a shooting which no one is killed should simply be referred to as a shooting or an “attempted murder” or something similar, as it always has been. A shooting in which one is killed is a murder. If two are killed, it’s a double murder. If three are killed–as in the November 27 Planned Parenthood attack–it’s a triple murder. But when four or more are killed then–and only then–do the words “mass shooting” apply.

The four attacks Mother Jones reports as reaching the threshold for a mass shooting in 2015 are Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (9 killed), the military offices in Chattanooga (5 killed). Umpqua Community College (9 killed), and San Bernardino (14 killed).

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at



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