Top Criminologist: “No Evidence of an Epidemic of Mass Shootings”
Russ Chastain 08.15.19
In a recent post on Reason.com, leading criminologist James Alan Fox assures us there is no evidence of an epidemic of mass shootings. Rather, media coverage of such things — always with an anti-gun slant — sensationalize them and sow fear among those who pay attention to such broadcasts. And sadly, that seems to include most Americans.
Fox is a criminologist at Northeastern University, and is called “the leading researcher on [mass shooting crimes] for the past 35 years.” In the podcast embedded in the post, he says the facts point in the opposite direction, saying gun crime is actually way down.
The number of incidents and casualties are simply too small to make such claims and, he stresses, the media coverage of shootings often ends up creating a false sense that gun violence — which is at or near historic lows — is ubiquitous and growing.
In a wide-ranging interview with Nick Gillespie, Fox explains the common characteristics of mass killers, why violent crime involving guns has declined over the past several decades, and how cable TV and social media contribute to a false sense of panic.
In the podcast, he explains the difference between a “mass killing” and a “mass shooting,” and says the terms are used poorly by reporters in order to stir up public fear immediately following any sensational crime of this nature. Bad and misleading data is also used to create graphs and other scary-looking things, because they include smaller crimes as well as private crimes involving family matters and gang-related and/or drug-related violence.
It’s well worth a listen, and I recommend you visit Reason.com to do so.