CNN claims 40 million living one mile from mass shooting

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Of course, mass shootings are in the news once again following what happened in Jacksonville. That’s to be expected, I suppose.

The worst part of the aftermath of something like that isn’t so much the renewed debate surrounding guns, gun control, and so on. It’s how the media tries to warp and manipulate the facts, all to make people feel more afraid.


Scared people are more likely to support restrictions on their rights, though, so the anti-gun media has an interest in making people scared.

Take this interactive from CNN as an example.

For millions of Americans, mass shootings are hitting as close as one mile to home.

Almost 42 million Americans – over one-eighth of the US population – are estimated to have lived within one mile of a mass shooting since 2014, according to an original CNN analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) and US Census Bureau.

First, let’s understand that using “one-eighth” is likely a conscious choice because it sounds scarier than 12.5 percent.

Second, the fact that they’re using data from the Gun Violence Archive already discredits what they’re doing. After all, GVA uses a broader definition of mass shootings than literally anyone else, which includes incidents where no one was killed.

Yet despite GVA’s inflated numbers, some are actually surprised that the population living so close to a “mass shooting” is actually that low.

However, we need to remember that because these aren’t what most think of as mass shootings but are, generally, things like gang violence, they’re going to be centered in more urban environments. In fact, they’re going to be centered in particular neighborhoods in those cities.


But CNN knows this.

As a result, they don’t talk to those who lived close to gang warfare. If they did, people might start to understand that the Gun Violence Archive inflates the numbers with something very different than what most think of as mass shootings.

What CNN did was start talking to people who lived near actual mass shootings.

Highland Park, Buffalo, Chesapeake, and so on. Traditional mass shootings–things everyone agrees are mass shootings–so as to keep anyone from seeing the Gun Violence Archive game. They then quote a doctor who also plays it.

“While a lot of times, we hear about mass shootings similar to what happened in Las Vegas and Orlando, our study and others show that actually a significant portion of mass shootings, especially in big cities, are community gun violence and inner-city gun violence,” Dr. Sharven Taghavi, principal investigator for the study and associate professor at Tulane University’s School of Medicine, told CNN.

Some of the highest rates of gun violence in cities across the United States are occurring in St. LouisNew Orleans and Baltimore, according to the CNN analysis. New Orleans and Baltimore both have majority Black populations, while St. Louis is majority White, but only by a few percentage points.


This is why it bothers me when doctors start trying to get into the debate. For many physicians, all that matters is that a gun is used because, well, that’s the part they have a hand in dealing with.

But the root causes of inner-city violent crime are very different than the root cause of a racist dipstick shooting up a Dollar General. Even if you want to focus on guns, the method of obtaining a firearm is very different.

The problem here is that CNN is pushing a narrative, one designed to make people concerned. They’re afraid they let people know that the risk of being involved in a mass shooting is remarkably low, people won’t freak out enough to demand gun control.

That’s the goal and why the media isn’t trusted anymore.


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