Commentary

New Research Destroys Left's Claim That US Is Number 1 in Mass Shootings

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A widely reported study in 2016 claimed that the United States was the leading country in mass shootings by far, but a new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center found that the 2016 study had relied on flawed data collection methods and grossly under-reported mass shootings around the world.

The 2016 study was published by criminologist Adam Lankford. It was covered zealously by the establishment media, including the left-leaning New York Times, CNN and even former President Barack Obama himself.

After the Orlando shooting in late 2015, Obama stated, “(T)he one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” according to WLS in Chicago.

At the time, the Obama administration used Lankford’s then-unpublished study to justify his claims, according to The Washington Post. That study claimed that the United States had 90 public mass shooters over a period of 47 years compared to the world total of 202.

The establishment media also played its part in propagating Lankford’s now-debunked study.

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For example, CNN published an anti-gun article in October 2017, citing Lankford’s study.

“When it comes to gun massacres, the United States is tragically exceptional: There are more public mass shootings in the United States than in any other country in the world, according to a study published recently,” CNN reported.

The next month, The New York Times also covered the report.

“From 1966 to 2012, 31 percent of the gunmen in mass shootings worldwide were American,” The Times claimed.

Do you think the establishment media has an anti-gun agenda?

They were wrong.

Despite the broad use of Lankford’s report, it received a healthy amount of skepticism from those who bothered to actually read it, such as The Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee.

In 2015, Lee reported that academics, such as State University of New York’s Jaclyn Schildkraut and Texas State University researcher H. Jaymi Elsass, found that the United States had a lower rate of mass shooting fatalities compared to Norway, Finland and Switzerland.

A new report by the CPRC found that the U.S. share of mass shootings was actually lower than the global average.

The new study focused on data from 1998 to 2012. Lankford’s study had used data from 1966 to 2012. The issue with Lankford’s data is that it is difficult to discover cases of mass shootings in some parts of the world from the 1960s through the 1980s, according to the New York Post.

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The new study found 15 times more mass public shooters around the world than Lankford did while focusing on only a fraction of the number of years.

CPRC’s study found that the U.S. makes up less than 1.43 percent of mass public shooters contrary to the previously reported 31 percent. The U.S. population is roughly 4.38 percent of the world total.

If Obama and his allies in the establishment media had done their homework, they would have realized the problems with Lankford’s study — or at least found plenty of other academics, as Lee did at The Washington Post, who disagreed with it.

It’s almost like the left-leaning establishment media value their anti-gun agenda over the truth.

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Malachi Bailey is a writer from Ohio with a background in history, education and philosophy. He has led multiple conservative groups and is dedicated to the principles of free speech, privacy and peace.
Malachi Bailey is a writer from Ohio with a passion for free speech, privacy and peace. He graduated from the College of Wooster with a B.A. in History. While at Wooster, he served as the Treasurer for the Wooster Conservatives and the Vice President for the Young Americans for Liberty.
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