(WatchDogReport.org) – In April 2021, Rand stated that the US government had not defined the parameters of what would constitute a mass shooting. The source noted the FBI defined a mass murderer in the ‘80s as someone who killed four or more people during one incident. In 2013, Congress defined mass killings as single events that left three or more people dead, not including the murderer. Britannica equates mass shootings with active shooter incidents, which the FBI defines as an event where one or more people actively kill or attempt to kill others “in a populated area.”
On March 6, CNN apparently adopted the Britannica definition by reporting there were over 100 mass shootings already in 2023, calling the number of instances disturbing. The news outlet apparently used data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), which counts instances where at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter — whether anyone died or not. Breitbart called the data misleading.
Novelist James Best mocked CNN for using such sweeping information, saying such a broad definition would include drive-by shootings, gang warfare, double homicides, and other incidents in the figure. He accused the news source of spreading “misinformation.”
To CNN, an incident with no fatalities is still a mass shooting. This means labels like drive-by shootings, gang hits, homicides, double homicides, are renamed mass shootings and counted as such.
— Jim Best (@JimBestOmaha) March 7, 2023
In November 2022, Breitbart accused Newsmax of relying on Gun Violence Archive’s data as well. Breitbart claimed at the time that GVA was using a standard lower than the traditional definition of a mass shooting, possibly skewing the public’s perception of danger in the US.
President of Brady United Against Gun Violence, Kris Brown, used the recent alarming statistic from CNN and GVA to call on politicians for action to change gun laws. Brown said people in America are “tired of fearing” for their lives whenever they leave the house.
Data from the archive lists 106 mass shootings so far in 2023 using the expanded definition, whereas the source only lists nine mass murders for the year — reported and verified.
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