I really didn’t expect to talk about mass shootings all that much during the Biden administration. Why? Because my theory is that because the media doesn’t go all “doom and gloom” during Democratic administrations, which reduces the nihilistic tendencies that drive mass shootings.
At least, that’s what I think is partially behind the high-profile mass shootings at places like schools, churches, and other such places.
Yet it seems that same media is telling us that mass shootings are on the rise.
Mass shootings in Illinois increased to 69 in 2020 from 41 the year before, while nationally mass shootings jumped nearly 50% during a pandemic with crippling unemployment, violent protests and idle youth.
In 2020, Illinois’ reported 69 mass shootings killed 42 and injured 301. A year earlier, the state’s 41 mass shootings killed 28 and injured 182.
Among Illinois’ deadliest shootings last year was one on July 4 in Chicago that killed four and injured four. The state’s bloodiest shootings included one July 21 in Chicago that injured 15.
Thirteen people were shot during an incident on Peoria’s riverfront last July.
With COVID-19 cases falling and vaccines rolling out, some criminologists hope a rebounding economy and reopened schools will drive down the national numbers in 2021.
How did all of this happen and you remain blissfully unaware?
Well, it’s not your fault. You see, like votes, it’s all about who is doing the counting.
A USA TODAY analysis of Gun Violence Archive statistics from 2020 shows that mass shootings surged by 47% as many states reported unprecedented increases in weapons-related incidents. In 2020, the United States reported 611 mass shooting events that resulted in 513 deaths and 2,543 injuries. In 2019, there were 417 mass shootings, with 465 deaths and 1,707 injured.
Of course, the Gun Violence Archive uses its own made-up definition of “mass shooting” that counts anything where three or more people are shot, rather than killed. That means gang-related shootings are more likely to be classified as mass shootings in their numbers than would likely show up using most other definitions.
This is an important point that the above-linked article leaves out, making people believe that we’re seen Parkland-like mass shootings happening at the rate of something like three a month in Chicago.
That’s simply not the case.
Yet if people believe that, they’ll believe there’s a profound need to curtail people’s Second Amendment rights. They’ll accept any manner of restriction you care to name because they believe it’s necessary. Frightened people are easier to get to do what you want.
That’s the sole purpose of the Gun Violence Archive. It’s a tool anti-gunners and the media (but I repeat myself) use to terrify people into believing their chances of being involved in a mass shooting are much higher than they actually are. The vast majority of those are gang incidents or something similarly criminal-related. This isn’t the kind of thing that impacts the ordinary, average citizen.
But the Gun Violence Archive folks want you to believe otherwise. They want you scared because scared people are more likely to back gun control than people who recognize the reality, that such shootings are exceedingly rare and if you do find yourself in one, your best option is to have a firearm yourself so you can protect you and yours.
Somehow, I don’t think that’ll pop up in one of these stores.