Following the shooting in San Bernardino, California yesterday, several mainstream media sites have claimed that it constitutes the 355th mass shooting this year.
No, it doesn’t.
The figure was unquestioningly repeated by The New York Times, the Washington Post,Boston Globe, CBS News, MSNBC, and Newsday, despite the fact that it is inaccurate and does not in any way dovetail with FBI statistics.
Television newscasts also repeatedly cited the figure without checking the facts.
The origin of the figure is even more ridiculous, given that it was culled from a claim by a group of anti-Second Amendment “activists” on the news sharing website Reddit.
The group, named “Guns Are Cool,” (an attempted ironic name) runs a “subreddit” page which it describes as “the world’s only crowd sourced mass shooting tracker, as featured on the Huffington Post, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the Young Turks, the FX Network’s ‘Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell’ and more!”
The trouble is, that it’s figures are totally out of whack with official stats.
According to the FBI, only 21 of the 355 shootings identified by the anti-gunners can actually be categorized as mass murder with a firearm.
It is still too many, but it isn’t any where close to 355.
An FBI report released last year details that over a thirteen year period, between 2000 and 2013, there were 160 “active shooter incidents.”
Those also include incidents where nobody was shot or killed. Gang violence is not counted among these statistics.
The FBI categorizes mass shootings as “a number of murders (four or more) occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders.”
Responding to those who have pointed this out, the anti-gun group in question claimed that the FBI panders to the “gun lobby,” and intentionally downplays shootings.
“The NRA evades the gigantic costs of gun injuries to society and shifts the burden to taxpayers who often pay the costs for the medical care of the wounded.” the group, who admit to attempting to influence media coverage of shootings, claim.
This once again shows that the mainstream media cherry picks information to intentionally mislead Americans into supporting calls to give up their rights.
No retractions or clarifications have yet been offered by the media outlets cited above who used the bogus figures.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.