(courtesy fbi.gov)

Republished with permission from the NRA-ILA:

Things have sure changed at the New York Times. In 1863, the newspaper used a Gatling gun to scare off a mob of draft protestors. Today, it can’t resist the temptation to put an anti-gun spin on things any chance it gets. This week, the Times ran an article titled “FBI Confirms a Sharp Rise in Mass Shootings Since 2000,” which claimed that a report recently released by the FBI found that “Mass shootings have risen dramatically in the past half-dozen years.” Say what? Come again? . . .

The FBI’s report is titled A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the U.S. Between 2000 and 2013. As the title indicates, the report deals with “active shooter incidents,” which the FBI describes as situations involving “an individual [or individuals] actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people.” The purpose of the report, the FBI says, is to “provide federal, state, and local law enforcement with data so they can better understand how to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from these incidents.”

While “mass shootings” are generally considered to be those with four of more murder victims, the FBI’s report is mostly concerned with crimes involving between zero and three such victims. Of the 160 crimes FBI considered, 45 (28 percent) had four or more murder victims, 19 (12 percent) had three, 29 (18 percent) had two, 36 (23 percent) had one, and 31 (19 percent) had none. Additionally, only 98 (61 percent) had four or more fatal and non-fatal victims combined.

Also, as the FBI notes, its report doesn’t include crimes committed without firearms. Anti-gun groups would like the public to believe that all mass murders are committed with firearms, but many such crimes are committed by other means. For example, USA Today has reported that between 2006 and 2013, there were at least 61 mass murders, with at least 286 victims, which were committed with knives or bludgeons, or by arson, drowning, strangulation or suffocation. By comparison, for the same period, the FBI’s report includes only 34 mass murders, with 272 victims, which were committed with firearms.

Additionally, the FBI notes, “shootings that resulted from gang or drug violence–pervasive, long-tracked, criminal acts that could also affect the public–were not included in this study.” Thus, the FBI ignored at least 116 felony-related murders with four or more victims between 2000 and 2013, resulting in the murders of at least 498 people.

Moreover, the FBI didn’t include mass shootings that took place between 1949 and 1999, a decision that would affect a long-term trend line for such crimes. And, curiously, it didn’t even include the April 9, 2002, murders of five people in Toms River, New Jersey, by a police officer using a police department submachinegun and pistol, and the October 3, 2002, murders of five people in Montgomery County, Maryland, by the so-called “D.C. Snipers.”

However, the FBI report makes three things clear. First, contrary to what anti-gun groups are trying to get the American people to believe, murders that have four or more victims, whether committed with firearms or by other means, are the exception, not the rule. Second, the recent trend in such crimes has been skewed by a very small number of crimes with high casualty counts, committed by deranged individuals and, in one case, a person with jihadist sympathies.

Third, the FBI recognizes that private citizens faced with an “active shooter” can sometimes successfully intervene to bring the crime to a halt. “Of the 160 incidents, at least 107 (66.9%) ended before police arrived and could engage the shooter, either because a citizen intervened, the shooter fled, or the shooter committed suicide or was killed by someone at the scene,” the FBI said.

Presumably, today’s New York Times would reject the FBI’s conclusion, and instead advise those who are under attack to cower, beg for mercy, or run, leaving other victims to fend for themselves. Of course, that’s not what the Times did in 1863, and it’s not always the best advice today.

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24 Responses to NRA-ILA: New York Times Mischaracterizes New FBI Report

  1. There seems to be many more flaws to this “study” than just the omission of the 13 victim on the Oct 2002 DC sniper. Of the murders by Hausner.

    This “study” needs to clearly state that it is only a random selection of shootings from a certain time period and is not all inclusive. Any “study” is fatally flawed if conclusions are made from a random selection of data points.

  2. I guess NYT failed to read the introduction:

    This is not a study of mass killings or mass shootings, but rather a study of a specific type of shooting situation law enforcement and the public may face. Incidents identified in this study do not encompass all gun-related situations; therefore caution should be taken when using this information without placing it in context.

      • and most of them have a degree in “journalism” or “communications” which are without a doubt two of the most worthless degrees offered by any college. If young men studying philosophy can be described as contemplating their navel, what is it that young women doing “gender studies” contemplate?

        • Omphaloskepsis would be the answer. Whether it is women’s studies, minority studies, or any of the social degrees, the primary function is to instruct students in the contemplation of ones navel rather than objective thought. I graduated in ’74 in the college of mathematics and I can remember clearly the proverbial “victimhood” that was just a fresh idea. Those folks are now the professors with tenure.

    • Since when do liberal leaning publications care about facts versus an ideological agenda (in this example, banning all guns)? I am sure they read what you post but also decided to ignore it because they knew very few people like yourself would bother to do any research — especially when talking into an echo chamber.

      BTW: Great job!

  3. The Parrot don’t know what its poop don’t show. Next person that quotes a bird-cage liner buys beer for the rest of us.

  4. The appendix of the FBI report lists some details on all the shootings included in the study. It’s a pretty interesting read.

  5. What! The NYT disregarding and distorting the facts?
    That’s been their MO for at least 50 years.
    (80, if you count the Ukrainian-starvation-massacre cover up)

  6. Things have sure changed at the New York Times. In 1863, the newspaper used a Gatling gun to scare off a mob of draft protestors.(sic)

    I think that’s completely consistent with their current philosophy: the elite should be the only ones with guns…well, their professional security, since they don’t want to get their own hands dirty, so they can maintain control over the rabble.

  7. While the NYT was botching this story, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the newspaper’s publisher, and Mark Thompson, its CEO, announced yet another round of layoffs. This time, 100 newsroom employees have been targeted. FYI, pernicious anti-gun lowlife Joe Nocera is probably not among them, because the new layoff affects news people who sometimes try to find the truth and not propagandists who constantly try to spin a lie.

    It seems that the Gray Lady has soiled her panties. Again.

  8. The number of observations is so small that I doubt there is much statistical significance to any of the figures. The author is entitled to define the parameters to be studied any way he likes; and, then the reader if free to draw whatever conclusions might be germane to that sample so chosen. If anyone wishes to complain that different parameters should have been chosen to include/exclude certain cases then he should do his own study.
    While pointed out in the prose, the figures from this study are not compared to any denominator of gun-related incidents. These casualties pale in comparison to total homicides, suicides, and woundings. Any phenomena that causes multiple deaths is worthy of some specialist’s interest. At some level, statistics of minor phenomena drop below the level warranting general public policy interest. There is no fault here in the FBI study; they are specialists who should care about the phenomena they studied.
    The Times should be more interested in suicide in general, perhaps suicide by gun. Violent crime in general, perhaps violence by gun. These are large-enough social issues warranting pubic information and contemplation.

  9. I sent the author the following:

    Dear Michael.

    Please update your article to represent what the actual FBI study was about. You are misrepresenting the facts, starting with the headline.

    On PAGE 5 in the introduction is clearly states the following:

    “”””””””””””
    This is not a study of mass killings or mass shootings, but rather a study of a specific type of
    shooting situation law enforcement and the public may face. Incidents identified in this study
    do not encompass all gun-related situations; therefore caution should be taken when using
    this information without placing it in context. Specifically, shootings that resulted from gang
    or drug violence—pervasive, long-tracked, criminal acts that could also affect the public—
    were not included in this study. In addition, other gun-related shootings were not included
    when those incidents appeared generally not to have put others in peril (e.g., the accidental
    discharge of a firearm in a school building or a person who chose to publicly commit suicide
    in a parking lot).

    _The study does not encompass all mass killings or shootings in public
    places and therefore is limited in its scope._ (emphasis added by me)
    “”””””””””””””””””

    Once you look at the long term data, there simply is no trend to be seen. Rare events by definition will have huge spikes (up and down) but considering a study that focuses on just 13 years and purposefully changed parameters for their intended goal, simply does not equate to the headline you published.
    http://www.boston.com/community/blogs/crime_punishment/Mass%20Shootings%201976-2011.jpg

    One thing you should have taken away from the topic, is that these rare events are committed by people that study prior events, and by the media, in general, making up scary headlines and keeping the events frontpage by all means possible, the media is directly contributing to the next incident.

    I look forward to the study that tries to correlate media attention/focus to the frequency and scope of subsequent events. My bet is that with every newscycle dedicated to an event, it increases the statistical chance of another event to follow sooner, or to be of a larger scope.

    Report, don’t sensationalize the news, please!

    thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts.

    MrT

  10. Can’t read the report to see if it’s included but I wonder (although I have a pretty good hunch), how many occurred in gun-free zones?

  11. So, what defines “active shooter incident”?

    Is that the rare type of crime where the LEOs arrive while the crime is still happening, thus making it active instead of forensic?

    • Is that the rare type of crime where the LEOs arrive while the crime is still happening?

      That’s what I understood the report to mean by “active shooter”, yes.

      And if so, the real take-away from that, for John Q. Public is: over a ten-year span, FBI came up with a whopping 164 cases where the police showed up in time to face the perpetrator. The rest of the time, the only ones able to bring deadly force to bear in the situation were the perpetrators and their intended victims.

      All the more reason to arm yourself.

  12. “While “mass shootings” are generally considered to be those with four of more murder victims, the FBI’s report is mostly concerned with crimes involving between zero and three such victims.”

    If you can’t win the game, move the goal post. Since the antis can’t prove that there are more mass shootings now, they have decided to redefine incidents where zero people are shot as mass shootings. “Active shooter” has now been redefined to mean anyone actively engaged in shooting people. So by that definition, anybody who fires a gun at somebody, for any reason, can be called an active shooter. A citizen who legitimately defends their life with a gun becomes an active shooter. Of course I’m sure an exemption will be made for the police, FBI, Secret Service, etc.

  13. …But the FBI just switched to 9mm. And posted a report to back it up. How can they possibly be wrong here?

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