The Vox.com home page is shrouded in ominous shades of pitch black and an odd carnelian red more reminiscent of dirty oranges than the crimson red one would expect. Their opening salvo looms large when you open the page:
After Sandy Hook we said never again. And then we let 1,917 mass shootings happen.
From there the viewer is advised to scroll down. The next group of text is, of course, about Sandy Hook:
On December 14, 2012, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 20 children, six adults, and himself.
Further down the page you find the following misleading claim:
Since 2013, there has been only one full calendar week — the week of January 5, 2014 — without a mass shooting.
The longest respite was 11 days between January 8, 2013, and January 18, 2013, when no mass shootings were reported, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
How is Vox defining a mass shooting? I’m glad you asked.
Mass shooting data comes from the Gun Violence Archive, which defines mass shootings as events in which four or more people, excluding the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed at the same general time and location. GVA’s definition differs from other definitions of mass shootings, which may require that four or more people are killed or exclude certain shootings, such as gang-related and domestic events.
The “same general time and location” leaves an awful lot of wiggle room to skew data to suit your purposes. It’s unfortunate Vox is using the murders of small children to further their anti-gun agenda.
How many mass shootings do you believe have occurred since Sandy Hook? Is the number even relevant?