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Many news sources (including Reuters) have been trying to figure out exactly how many “mass shootings” and other events take place in the United States. Too lazy to do their own research, they have begun relying on advocacy websites like ShootingTracker.com. That site is maintained by a small group of rabid anti-gun activists who reside in the /r/GunsAreCool area of Reddit and are known for ignoring facts that don’t fit their agenda. If you thought /r/FatPeopleHate was bad, this is worse. Being the aggressive hoplophobes they are, rather than sticking with the facts and reporting the truth, they decided to artificially inflate the number of shooting events in their database by including incidents that even Shannon Watts would reject as irrelevant. Like what, exactly? Well, like this . . .

Here’s a couple examples from their list. May 6, 2013:

A pair of township boys are accused of shooting four others with a pellet gun, police said.

Nobody was seriously hurt by the 11- and 12-year-old boys who shot the pellet gun at them on April 25 in the Twinbrook Village apartment complex, Detective Lt. Kevin Faller said in a statement.

The ShootingTracker.com guys believe that this incident, in which four people were slightly bruised by kids with a pellet gun, is on a par with Columbine and Sandy Hook. Want another one? February 20, 2014:

St. Petersburg, Florida –Three people have been arrested and chargedafter police say they shot multiple people with a pellet gun in St. Petersburg.

[…]

At least12 people reported being struck by pellets.

People reported being hit in their legs, hands and back, but police say none of the injuries were serious.

Twelve people being struck by a pellet gun is definitely distressing and an example of irresponsible gun use. But including it with the Virginia Tech massacre as the ShootingTracker.com guys have done is like trying to say someone ogling you is the same thing as rape.

There’s no way that we can have meaningful discussions about the role of firearms in the United States without good hard facts. The people who run ShootingTracker.com clearly don’t care about facts. They just care about putting out as big a number as possible to make those evil, insane NRA members look as bloodthirsty and heartless as possible.

It isn’t journalism. It isn’t providing a service. It’s pure propaganda. What’s worse, the major news generators are picking it up and using it because they’re too lazy to do actual research (or they’re happy pushing ShootingTracker’s agenda). It’s as if we’re watching the BBC take press releases from ISIS at face value and running them on the evening news.

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51 Responses to ShootingTracker.com Uses Pellet Gun Incidents to Pad ‘Mass Shooting’ Numbers

  1. Pity they don’t break out multiple shootings in the commission of a crime, as opposed to spree killers like the recent douchebag here in my home state of Oregon.

  2. “People reported being hit in their legs, hands and back, but police say none of the injuries were serious.”

    Good thing for these little hooligans that no one they were shooting at was a concealed carrier or some of the injuries might in fact have been serious.

    • Cliff; You know what the MSM would say about that, how a gun crazy right wing nut shot a 12 year old. This has happened before where some bung hole pulls out a fake gun and gets shot. I saw it on a home security came where three clowns kicked in the back door,one had a fake gun but, the home owner had a real one her husband got her, it was an AR-15.You don’t have time to have coffee and ask it the gun is real because,your dead a$$ might be dead for real.

  3. The kids were probably shooting airsoft guns, which sting a little but are unlikely to do any damage unless they hit someone in the eye.

  4. “is like trying to say someone ogling you is the same thing as rape.”

    You mean it’s not? Wait until MSNBC hears about this!

  5. When I was a young teenager I had a friend who lived in a trailer within walking distance, through some woods, of a golf course. We used to shoot golf balls off of the tees, with a pellet-gun, right before the swing. It was a blast to watch the freak-outs. I think that’s where I started getting good at shooting.

    • Sounds like fun. I always wanted to combine the games of golf and skeet shooting, although it would probably be best if the golfers were in on the game. Maybe want to avoid public golf courses too.

      • There is an old You
        Tube vid where they did exactly that. Guy shows up at a driving range with a shotgun, and when someone hits a ball, he pops up and skeets it. When people look at him in shock, he says he is just “shooting golf.”

        • I thought you could simply play a standard game of golf except your opponents would try to shoot your ball out of the sky and if they succeeded, well, it would be a lot easier to take a drop than to try to hit an exploded ball on to the green. Probably just use the shotguns on the drive. Might get a little silly on the green.

        • Golf balls are shockingly tough little buggers. I doubt birdshot would result in an exploded ball. One a bit roughed up, perhaps, but I bet it’d still be playable.

        • Hmm… We’ll either have to come up with special balls or special shot for the game. I’m guessing that it wouldn’t be too hard to deflect the ball into the rough, even if it is still playable though.

    • You wanna be careful around some of those golfers. Never quite know when one of them will go off the wall with his assault driver 😀

      Tom

  6. ‘There’s no way that we can have meaningful discussions…’

    ‘Meaningful discussions’ are the last thing these people are interested in. Their purpose is to produce agitprop for what Rush Limbaugh calls ‘low information voters’ who won’t bother to check their misleading ‘facts’. Personally, I think the joke is on them though, because I think more of them are likely to be convinced they need their own firearm and carry permit than to advocate for more gun control.

  7. Hard facts we’ve got,….it’s just that there’s a surplus of dishonest, unethical anti’s…..anti’s who can’t be shamed. They hold true the oldest adage: Profit without honor, is still money in the bank. With this kind of thinking, the ends will always justify the means to these people.

  8. Back in the day, I was involved in several mass peashooter incidents. And there was that time in the RKO Paradise with a whole box of Jujubes and a lot of cute girls. Man, I could totally have made this list but I was born too soon.

  9. Reuters and AP lazy, no way! There so professional and object hahahahahahahahahaha, sorry couldn’t finish that sentence with a straight face. If the main stream media isn’t outright corrupt and intentionally dishonest, they’re too intellectually lazy and useless.

  10. And another site that still may have been useful despite its agenda bites the dust due to said agenda.

    Oh well.

    Note that this is also why we don’t let the government fund gun violence studies.

  11. Yeah, I do wonder if these “pellets” are from air soft guns. Having killed numerous small mammals with a single pellet shot, I know I wouldn’t care to be hit with one. Clarification: not numerous small animals with a single shot; numerous small animals with one shot apiece. Nor would I put this in the same class as ogling. And if I were carrying and someone pointed anything that looked like a firearm at me …

    Still, it’s dishonest what these idiots are doing. It’s not the same.

  12. Even better is if you open up the “2015 raw data” excel spreadsheet you can see that 41% of “mass shootings” in 2015 resulted in ZERO deaths, and another 30% resulted in one death. So much for trying to make people thing that Sandy Hook happens daily in the US.

  13. This is similar to how CNN padded the stats for school shootings during Newtown. Two 16 year-old gangbangers got into a fight and killed each other was classified as a school shooting, despite the fact that these two kids haven’t seen the inside of a school in months…

    I forget who said it, but it has been said that statistics are like a bikini, you might like what you see, but you really want to check out what you don’t see before you make a judgement.

  14. The sad fact is the media does skim off these sites which screws up things on multiple levels. It shouldn’t as crap like this is not new. The problem is the naive and gullible people who accept and buy it as fact. So where is the true problem?

  15. I forget where I read it, but I saw today that “a mass shooting is one in which four or more people besides the shooter are killed” and went on to say that “using that definition, there have been nearly 300 mass shootings so far this year”. What an incredible lie.

    If they said “in order to claim 300 mass shootings a year, you have to include BB gun wars by groups of 10 year olds playing together” I could believe them.

    • That’s because shooting tracker uses the /r/GRC definition of mass shooting where it is classified as one if 4 or more people were injured. They had one on there where there was an ND inside a Walmart by a CCW’er and the debris of the bullet hitting the floor injured 4 people near the guy and that was classified as a “Mass Shooting.”

  16. I had to clean the data up to use my hack method of tallying their CSV files, but it strictly was removing commas separating the names between lists of names. I’m sure somewhere some coder is crying about me parsing their CSVs this way but oh well. Command listed as ran and the first number is the count of instances and the second is the actual number in the field (in this case “killed” as per the single instance of the heading showing up.)

    user ~/Downloads $ cat 2013MASTER.csv | cut -d, -f4 | sort -n | uniq -c
    135 0
    1 killed
    105 1
    47 2
    24 3
    36 4
    11 5
    2 6
    1 7
    1 10
    1 13

    ~/Downloads $ cat 2014MASTER.csv | cut -d, -f4 | sort -n | uniq -c
    150 0
    1 Damaino Nicholas Thomas”
    1 Dead
    94 1
    31 2
    29 3
    20 4
    8 5
    2 6
    1 8

    ~/Downloads $ cat 2015CURRENT.csv | cut -d, -f4 | sort -n | uniq -c
    122 0
    1 Dead
    89 1
    30 2
    23 3
    19 4
    7 5
    1 6
    2 8
    2 9
    1 10

  17. I noticed similar shenanigans on a Wiki list of school shootings. They listed rival gang members shooting each other in the school parking lot in the middle of the night as a “school shooting”. They also added the shooter in the number of victims if they killed themselves or were killed by police. They even added the number of people killed away from a school shooting (at the shooter’s home for example) to the number of victims of a school shooting to help drive the numbers up. In one example they listed a shooting as a school shooting because the shooter looked for a teacher at the school, didn’t find him there and then went to his house where the shooting took place. That was a school shooting.

  18. It’s kind of funny that /r/GunsAreCool would include pellet guns, since it was initially created after someone got all pissy when they posted about pellet guns on /r/guns and they were told they were in the wrong place. Like most gun control advocates, they will ban anyone who questions their circle-jerk from the subreddit.

  19. False reporting is inciting to riot and it is a crime. News outlets would be held accountable for the truth.
    Divide and conquer thats what they are doing.
    I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.
    Malcolm X
    The only gun control law there should be is that criminals can’t have any firearms. No double standards put DC politicians on Obamacare and SS.Thanks for your support and vote.Pass the word. mrpresident2016.com

  20. There is no rhetoric on shootingtracker.com, merely UN-inflated statistics! Yes, that includes pellet gun incidents that were perpetuated upon strangers IN PUBLIC, not amongst joking friends—there ARE no statistics for that, DUH! Including pellet gun shooting incidences with all other “mass” shootings is actually a very accurate way to quantify the subject matter. Otherwise, there would be categories and degrees of violence/victims that would confound the results. It is not akin to comparing ogling someone to rape. If you were to study and count incidences of say, overt inappropriate/unwanted sexual behavior toward woman that included a wide spectrum from cat-calling to rape, THAT would be a much more accurate and comparable representation. THIS site and the article of October 6, 2015, is what is skewed, biased and sensationalistic and only criticizes and incites ignorant prejudice rather than report on the facts and merits of what is vastly know to be true. This is yellow journalism at its finest.

  21. Nice catch. Although even the real data is pretty shocking all the same.

    Why do you think the USA, uniquely, needs guns – and no other developed country does? Strange that isn’t it.

  22. FYI They have since *removed the pellet gun* incidents.

    They are no longer included in their figures – so you should mention this at the top of this article – right?

    Thought not? (respect if you do – srsly).

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