The Hill’s Claim of 600+ Mass Shootings in 2022 Was Based on Misleading information

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    On Thanksgiving Day, The Hill made reference to erroneous data by claiming that there were more than 600 “mass shootings” in 2022.

    The Hill reported: “According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, there have been 609 incidents in 2022 in which four or more people, other than the attacker, were shot – putting the U.S. on pace to reach around 675 by the end of the year.”

    On November 21, 2022, Breitbart News noted that Newsmax had also cited data from the Gun Violence Archive and claimed that the United States had witnessed more than 600 “mass shootings.” Breitbart pointed out that the Gun Violence Archive tallied such an impressive number of “mass shootings” by counting instances in which there were “a minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter who may also have been killed or injured in the incident,” as “mass shootings.”

    The Gun Violence Archive approach allows double homicides, drive-by shootings, murder-suicides, triple murders, gang violence, and even instances involving firearms where there are no deaths to be counted as mass shootings.

    On April 15, 2021, the Rand Corporation observed that the definition of “mass shootings” was derived from the FBI's definition of “mass murderer” from the 1980s as a person who “kills four or more people in a single incident (not including himself).” So the killing of four or more people in a single shooting by one gunman was the working definition of a “mass shooting.”

    In 2013, the U.S. Congress altered the working definition slightly to “mass killing as a single incident that leaves three or more people dead.”

    Either definition – four or more deaths or three or more people dead – sharply reduces the likelihood of 600 or more “mass shootings” in 2022.

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